Mountain Grove is a rural town in southern Missouri, about 60 miles from Springfield. The 4500-person population is 97% white, and the median income is about half of the statewide average. I haven't found a religious breakdown, but I know without looking that its highly skewed toward evangelicals.
It wasn't the girl who caused a disruption-- all she did was quietly attend school, while looking different from the mainstream. It was the other students who caused the problem. In a monochromatic, narrow-minded, whitebread community they were unable to accept someone who didn't think and act the way they did. Rather than dealing with the real troublemakers, the school took the easy route and went after the person who dared to be different.
In an educated, enlightened area, the school would have seen this for the opportunity that it is. They could have given the students a lesson in diversity and acceptance of individual differences. It's easy to imagine the lectures about each person making their own choices, and while you may not agree with them you should respect their right to choose. This is backwards, rural Missouri, though, so that isn't likely to happen.
I'm half-tempted to hop on a plane and drop in on the town. (Edit: I just checked flights. I don't think I'm willing to drop a grand just for this, amusing as it might be.)