Monday , September 21 2020

8-year-old Michigan gets photo session after being denied school image of her hair extensions


And this time, everything was on her terms.

When Chicago photographer Jermaine Horton was tagged on a Facebook post featuring the story of young Marian Scott, he wasted no time in contacting her parents to organize a party for her.

"This is an 8-year-old girl who was separated from her school," Horton told CNN. “I am a father and I am tired of seeing such injustices happen. I wanted to get out there and help build this girl's confidence. "

Earlier this month, Horton drove 4 1/2 hours to Michigan just to make it happen. His one request? Marian needs to wear red, braids for shooting extensions.

"I wanted her to be herself and let her know that it was okay to be her," Horton said.

And Marianne did just that.

The photos show Marian in her extensions and a very colorful wardrobe provided by Pamela Blackman, CEO of Joy Management, and Mijeka O'Joy, CEO of clothing brand Richard Candy Candy, for free.

"It was fun," Marianne told CNN WILX affiliate. "You have to pose and be alone."

Marianne's story came up with headlines when she was blocked from photographing her school photo due to an October hairstyle.

"She called us to tears," Marian's father, Doug Scott, told CNN. "She had been taking the extensions to school before and they never told us anything, so it was surprising to us that this was the first time we heard it was a violation of the school dress code."

Ben Kirsch, director of Paragon Charter Academy, where Marian went to school, told WILX that Marian's red extensions violate school policy.

Paragon Charter Academy handbook says students' hair color must be "of natural tones" to get their picture, the station said.

The school did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment.

As a result of the incident, Marian's parents withdrew from the Paragon Charter School three weeks ago.

"The school did not apologize or intend to change its policy," Scott told CNN. "They made my daughter feel inadequate and every child needs to feel right at school."

Given everything that has happened, Scott says the negative has turned into a positive one.

"It made me see that there are people out there who care, like Jermaine. My daughter used to be very disappointed but now she's happier. "

CNN's Gabriel Sorto contributed to this report.

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