Asher Stonesifer, 17, vowed to continue his “fight for the right to spike,” even after DeLand High School principal Mitch Moyer upheld his decision to ban the senior from wearing his hair in a 16-inch Mohawk, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.
According to Stonesifer, Moyer told the teen this week that the “liberty spikes” he had been sporting sporadically since March 2011 were a distraction and a health and safety hazard. Stonesifer was instructed not to style his hair like that during school hours again.
After discussing with his mother, who believes controlling student hairstyles is “a free speech issue," Stonesifer returned to school on Tuesday boasting his signature spikes as a form of protest. He was promptly sent home for insubordination.
Bay News 9 reports the Volusia County Schools dress code includes no mention of hair, but can be adapted at the principal’s discretion.
"The dress code says that the principal has to determine whether or not it is appropriate for an educational setting, if it's too extreme if it causes a disruption," district spokesperson Nancy Wait said.
On Wednesday, the principal agreed to discuss with school district officials a proposal that would allow the senior to continue wearing his hair spikes in school, provided they were cut to a 10-inch length.
However, on Thursday superintendent Tom Russell informed Moyer the decision rests with the school principal, and Moyer has elected to not budge from his original stance.
Meanwhile, according to the News-Journal, Stonesifer continued to collect signatures for a petition on Thursday in hopes of changing the policy.
Stonesifer told WOFL it takes him about two hours to style his hair every morning, depending on how many spikes he adds. He also said he is seeking a new world record for the tallest “Liberty Spike Mohawk,” which currently stands at 3.6 feet.
According to Moyer, the 17-year-old will be permitted to wear his hair up during the school’s annual Spirit Week, which encourages students to “dress out of the norm” in an effort to boost excitement for the homecoming football game.