To raise awareness of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and to support his mother who was diagnosed with the disease a year ago, Trevor Foster, 11, of Columbus, Ind., decided to sport a pink mohawk complete with a breast cancer ribbon design on the side.
"I told my dad I had doubts I wasn't going to be able to do basketball because of it," he said. "But he told me that wouldn't happen and I had nothing to worry about."
But the sixth-grader at Clifty Creek Elementary School was stopped by the school's principal, Cynthia Frost, on his way to school.
Frost, who declined to comment, initially forbade him from trying out for the team unless he changed his hairdo, said Trevor and his father, Tamage Foster. According to them, she said there were other ways of expressing support for the cause, citing how NBA and NFL players wear pink socks or shoelaces.
"It made me furious," Trevor said.
But after local TV coverage and a social media campaign by Trevor's father, it appears Trevor has won a victory. He will be allowed to try out for the team, after all.
Both father and son met with Frost this morning. Not only did she tell them Trevor could try out for the team, they said, but she proposed he be one of the leaders of a new student council geared toward raising funds for breast cancer research.
Frost even donned pink with her suit today, Trevor said, and "told me it was just for me."
But he still isn't convinced.
"She apologized but it didn't help much," he said. "I'm still disappointed that she said what she said. It was just wrong to say that."
It wasn't the first time Trevor had a problem with Frost when it came to pink attire. Last year, Trevor was forced to turn his pink shirt inside out and surrender his "I Love Boobies" bracelet to his teacher, Trevor's father said.
Tamage Foster's other two children have not had any problems with school officials, he said.
After his son ran into trouble over his mohawk, Tamage Foster said he turned to social media and expressed his concerns on his Facebook page before contacting the school board, which confirmed that there are no regulations prohibiting Trevor's hairdo.
His mother, Stacey, who is being released from the hospital today after recovering from surgery on Monday, said she was "disappointed and angry" upon hearing her son was being chided for merely expressing himself.
"This was one way he thought he could support me through this surgery," she said. "When parents have cancer we don't really understand what our children go through. For him, it was his way of showing support for me all the way."
Along with her husband and son, she hopes Frost will follow through with the proposed student council that would aim to get the community involved in raising awareness for breast cancer.