A Texas school district apologized after a homecoming queen’s purple hair was edited to appear brown in a photo posted to its website.
Ebony Smith was crowned homecoming queen in late September.
Galena Park Independent School District posted a press release with a photograph of North Shore Senior High School’s homecoming king and queen, but something was off.
“It’s embarrassing,” Smith told local TV station KHOU. “It wasn’t even Photoshopped correctly. You can still see purple outlining. It’s just very embarrassing.”
The school posted a photo congratulating Smith and homecoming king Kasson Abdullah on the night of the homecoming game. The photo shows her hair as it was that night — a deep purple that happens to be banned by the school.
The handbook includes a list of unacceptable hair styles and specifically tells students to “avoid inappropriate hair color,” listing purple as one of the examples.
Smith agreed to dye her hair brown after homecoming, but her mother Tameasha Watkins is still upset over the photo.
“You changed her to make her look like someone else,” Watkins said. “Keep her as who she is. That’s who the students voted in.”
The school swapped the doctored homecoming photo for a black and white version earlier this week following the complaints.
Galena Park ISD released a statement explaining that a parent contacted them regarding the edited photo and said an “incorrect” photo was used.
“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 do regret this mistake.”