Photo: Courtesy of FOX News.
This Fox News report has left us equal parts outraged and heartwarmed: A 9-year-old girl, Kamryn, was banned from her Colorado school for shaving her head in support of her 11-year-old friend, Delaney, who is suffering from neuroblastoma and has recently started chemotherapy. Evidently, hair is part of the dress code at this school. The school, sensing the media sh*tstorm they were stirring up, hastily reversed their decision and has allowed Kamryn back to school, but the fact remains some administrator thought this amazing child's selfless act was distracting to her fellow students.
The school in question stated that Kamryn was in violation of their dress code, which, according to a statement from the president of the academy's board of directors was created "to promote safety, uniformity, and a non-distracting environment for the school's students." Under the policy, shaved heads are not allowed, so Kamryn was instructed to either wear a wig or, if she refused, not to return to school until her own hair grew out.
Let's also state that Kamryn performed this head shaving act of solidarity with her parents permission. Delaney, the friend who's suffering from cancer, was thrilled to have her friend's support and a bit bummed it didn't come off as planned. "It makes me sad because she was really happy to go back to school and show people what she did, but now that she didn't get to, she's kind of sad," she said in the piece. Excuse us while we gather up all of the tiny pieces of our shattered hearts.
So, a few things here. The "hair" rule means that any child without hair would be in violation of the dress code. Meaning that poor Delaney, who is undergoing chemotherapy, would be in the wrong under these old rules. Does that mean parents who decided to shave their kids' heads for whatever reason (religious, cultural, it's warm so let's just not bother) means their children would have been sent home? Should a child still have the right to learn, regardless of their personal grooming choices. What else is banned under the "uniformity"clause at this school? Box braids? Afros? Head wraps? Dreadlocks?
The other item the school never bothered to mention is that this little girl has something that we'd hope they're trying to instill in these students, which is character. If they're teaching them that your appearance is more important than the content of said character, we'd argue that the lesson plans of this particular institution need revising. It's sad that this brave kid, who altered her appearance and was prepared to withstand any bullying at the hands of fellow students, appears to have been bullied by her own school. That's all sorts of wrong.
We understand the board of directors is meeting over the incident. Let's hope that a review of the policies that place personal appearance over bravado, human connection, and taking a stand for someone who's suffering are on the docket. Sounds like some administrators need to be schooled. (FOX News)