A Texas school district apologized this week for altering a photo of a high school homecoming queen posted on its website.
Houston-area teen Ebony Smith was recently crowned North Shore High School’s homecoming queen but when the Galena Park Independent School District uploaded the image of their crowned king and queen, they photo shopped Smith’s purple hair to appear brown.
Purple, as well as other vibrant colors like green, orange, and yellow, are considered out of compliance with the school district’s hair and grooming code. The Student Code of Conduct handbook calls it a violation of the dress code that will subject a student to disciplinary action. KHOU reported that school officials asked Smith to change her hair color back to brown after homecoming and she did.
However, when the school district posted a photo of Smith and North Shore high’s crowned homecoming king, Kasson Abdullah, they altered Smith’s still purple hair to appear brown.
“It’s embarrassing,” Smith told KHOU. “It wasn’t even photo shopped correctly. You can still see the purple outlining.”
The school district released a statement indicating they were contacted regarding the photo displayed on their webpage as part of the homecoming announcement they posted.
“After looking into this parent’s concern, we did discover the incorrect photo was posted with the story highlighting her child.”
The district noted: “The error was immediately corrected, and our district sincerely apologizes to the student affected and her parents. Our intent has been and will continue to be, to acknowledge and spotlight the accomplishments of our students, and we regret this mistake.”
On Tuesday, Galena Park ISD replaced the altered photo of Smith and her colorful hair with the original image, although they modified the entire picture so that it is now in black and white.
Meanwhile, Smith’s mother Tameasha Watkins told KHOU she remains upset over the district altering her daughter’s photo.
“You changed her to make her look like someone else,” she said. “Keep her as who she is. That’s who the students voted in.”
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