A 17-year-old Florida boy ran afoul of an unwritten aspect of his high school's dress code when he wore his hair styled into a 16-inch-tall Mohawk to class.
The teen, Asher Stonesifer, reportedly is trying to set a world record for the tallest Liberty Spike Mohawk, and said his hair is a way of expressing his individuality.
"I'm weird, uncommon, and socially unacceptable, so why can't my hair express that …?" Asher told Orlando's WKMG-TV.
But Mitch Moyer, the principal at DeLand High School in Volusia County, doesn't see it that way. He believes the boy's hair is extreme, and he told Asher Thursday that he couldn't wear it that way unless he trimmed several inches off, according to the Daytona News-Journal.
The only concession he made was to allow the teen to wear his unusual style during school Spirit Week later this month.
Asher had been sent home earlier in the week for continuing to wear the Mohawk despite being warned. He came to school Thursday with his hair down, but collected signatures for a "right to spike" petition.
Rae Stonesifer, who had complained about the ban to the school board, told the Daytona News-Journal Wednesday that she didn't see the harm in her son's hairdo.
"It's only hair; it doesn't affect his grades," she said.
The Volusia County School Board's vice-chairwoman member agreed with her, calling the hair "cute."
"Everybody's a teenager once. … Of course, I'm not the principal of a school charged with maintaining discipline," she told the News-Journal.
The teen has worn his hair spiked before without any trouble, but principal Moyer said the boy's hair has grown. Although the school's dress code doesn't specifically address hair, the News-Journal reported, the code gives principals authority to decide propriety.
As for Asher's desire to break the world record, he has some way to go.
The tallest Mohawk on record was measured at 3 feet, 8.6 inches, Guinness World Records announced in September. The record-holder is Japanese fashion designer Kazuhiro Watanabe.