Teen Banned from Track over Pink Mohawk in Support of his Cancer Stricken Mom

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Battle over a pink Mohawk! A Michigan high school student says he’s been forced to leave his track team all because of his hair.

17-year-old Mike Barker, a junior at West Iron County High School, recently decided to dye his Mohawk pink to support his mom who is battling breast cancer. But when school officials got word of his decision they allegedly told him to choose between his hair, which violated school policy and his team, Barker says, “I picked family”.

Barker shares his decision with Michigan blogger Jason Asselin. He says he did it, not to cause trouble, but to honor not only his mom’s cancer struggle but also the struggles of two aunts, one of whom died two years ago.

He says that when various school officials, including his track coach, told him on Thursday that he needed to shave it off or leave the team, he chose the latter.

But Barker’s fight isn’t over. Since word got out about his story a Facebook support page was started with over 25 hundred people in his corner. Barker tells Yahoo Shine he’s meeting with school officials this week to discuss his situation further.
This incident comes on the heels of Kamryn Renfro’s story. The Colorado 9-year-old was suspended from school for a day after shaving her head in support of her BFF, a cancer patient who is bald thanks to chemo. The school allowed her to come back after feeling pressure from the public.

Hopefully, that will be the case for Mike.

I understand that there are dress code policies. But there should be exceptions to every rule. If a child is dealing with something as difficult as a loved one battling cancer, they should be allowed to express themselves. How is this disrupting their learning? At least they’re still coming to class. I say pick your battles, and fighting cancer is a tough enough battle for patients and their loved ones. Stop with the shear madness!

And that’s today’s helping of The Online Dish with Maggie.