COLUMBUS, Ind. - A Columbus boy sporting a pink Mohawk in honor of his mother's breast cancer battle was told he couldn't try out for the school's basketball team because of his hairdo, the family said.
Trevor Foster, a sixth-grader at Clifty Creek Elementary in Columbus, and his older brother Caleb both shaved their heads, leaving behind a thin strip of hair on top, a breast cancer ribbon design on one side and dying everything pink, their father, Tamage Foster told RTV6.
The boys' mother, Stacy Foster, was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and has undergone several surgeries since, including one earlier this week.
"We've been very open with the boys. They know everything about her treatment," Tamage Foster said.
The family was shocked after they said Principal Cynthia Frost told Trevor that he wouldn't be able to try out for the school basketball team unless he changed his hair style.
"Trevor comes home from school and tells me that the principal, Mrs. Frost, informs him that he can't try out for basketball with his hair cut the way it is and dyed red. Trevor informs her that it isn't red, it's pink," Tamage Foster said.
"I was walking out to my bus and she stopped me and told me that I couldn't try out for basketball with my mohawk," Trevor told RTV6.
Trevor's father took to Facebook, posting pictures of his sons' haircuts and soliciting support from the community. He also called the school and contacted school board members about the incident.
Soon after, he said he received an apologetic phone call from Frost, who explained that Trevor had misunderstood what she said.
"She was hoping that my son didn't take her comment the wrong way, but she wouldn't change a thing about him," Tamage Foster said.
Frost told the family that Trevor could try out for the basketball team, and that she wants him to help him organize a school-wide effort to raise funds for breast cancer research.
"They are going to start up a student council, which Clifty Creek has never had before," Tamage Foster said after meeting with Frost. "(She) said Trevor is one of the leaders in his grade, (and that) she felt so bad that she wore pink today to show support for Trevor."
For Stacy, battling cancer didn't dampen her fight in this case.
"You don't mess with mama's boy," she said.
Stacy said the support of her two boys and husband have meant everything.
"They've seen more than kids should ever see," said Stacy Foster. "They have been supportive more than anyone will ever know, and they know what it is to do laundry, and to see their mom so sick, but they also know that we make the best of our good days."
Frost had not returned a call for comment Thursday.