School administrators at a Texas high school told a student that is battling with brain cancer for the second time that she couldn’t wear her two-toned wig to school because it violated the school dress code.
After the student wrote an impassioned letter and attracted the attention of the media and the Lieutenant Governor, the decision had been overturned.
17-year-old Katilyn Pepper wore a blue-and-black wig at the start of the new school year after her natural hair began falling out due to her cancer treatments.
Her principal and the district’s superintendent denied granting her an exemption, so the 17-year-old and her mom Tyliece Pepper prepared to go before the McKinney ISD school board. Katilyn wrote a letter where she explained her case and asked for a permission to wear her wig.
Her letter and her story hit the media quickly, and it even led to the attention of Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. He asked on Twitter for Pepper to be given permission to wear the wig, and in a second tweet he added: “Let’s keep Kate in our prayers.”
She was granted permission soon after.
Kate’s mom says:
“Everyone is just overwhelmed with happiness that she can wear the wig. We haven’t had any response from the school or district to say sorry, but we’re happy that she can wear the wig, and she feels so happy and confident.”
According to her, they were aware of the rule about hair color, but the turquoise wig was the only thing that made her daughter feel better after she lost her hair.
School districts have come under fire for upholding dress codes that are racist, sexist, body-shaming, or harmful for those with health concerns or disabilities numerous times before.
As for how things stand now, Kate’s mother says that the 17-year-old is happy to keep the wig, but she was not feeling quite good after she began with the chemotherapy this week.
(KXAS, NBC News Channel)