IRON RIVER—As quickly as a controversy over a West Iron student’s pink hair blew up the week before, the firestorm vanished just days later.
It ended after a March 31 meeting between West Iron County school officials and the family of West Iron junior Michael Barker. Afterwards, the two sides issued a joint press release.
Barker, who was not identified by name in the release, was asked to get off a bus that was about to take West Iron’s track team to an indoor meet in Eagle River, Wis., on March 27.
Several teammates also left the bus in support of Barker. Coverage on TV6, the Daily News and social media outlets like Facebook quickly spread word of the incident.
Barker had been wearing a pink Mohawk hair style to show support for his mother, Wendy Pawlicki, who has battled breast cancer. West Iron school officials had been after him to modify his appearance, on the grounds that it was “excessive.”
The news release, issued by the school district after the meeting with the parents, said:
--Pawlicki does not now have cancer and is in good health. Since battling breast cancer over five years ago, she has been cancer-free.
--Barker has been and will continue to be a member of the track team.
--The school district “expressed regret” that Barker wasn’t allowed to take part in the Eagle River meet “as a result of the interpretation of the current athletic policy.” It