School Bans Girl Who Shaved Her Head to Support Friend With Cancer

hair clippersRemember when you were a kid and you got a cool new haircut? Remember how you just couldn't wait to show it off to your friends? Well, 9-year-old Kamryn Renfro's new 'do was the ultimate of cool -- she shaved her head to support a pal with cancer. But her return to school after her haircut wasn't exactly what kids look forward to -- Caprock Academy in Grand Junction, Colorado, suspended her for it!

Administrators at the public charter school told Kamryn's parents that her shaved head violated the dress code, and they barred her from going to class.

Because heaven forbid kids rock a funky hairdo at school?

I suppose this is where I should offer up a little disclaimer. I'm personally up in arms about this subject because a little more than a week ago, I was the one sitting down to shave my head ... and I was doing it specifically for the St. Baldrick's Foundation, a non-profit that raises money for childhood cancer research. It was my seventh year shaving, but this year I was inspired by a 10-year-old in my town who was organizing the entire shave-a-thon himself!

Just a little older than Kamryn, his heart is just as big, but our school district -- unlike hers -- was totally on board. They even allowed the young man in my town to wander the halls raising money for the cause.

Apparently that wouldn't have flown at Caprock, where shaved heads are prohibited, according to the head of the school's board of directors, because the school has "a detailed dress code policy, which was created to promote safety, uniformity, and a non-distracting environment for the school's students."

That's why they told Kamryn she couldn't come back to school until her hair grew back after she'd shaved to support pal Delaney Clements, who was diagnosed in 2010 with neuroblastoma, a rare form of childhood cancer.

First off, I'm not buying the "safety" angle. Shaving your head presents a danger to other kids in pretty much the same way that same sex marriage presents a danger to my straight relationship?

What, are they going to be blinded by the shine off your newly bald pate?

Come. On!

As for "uniformity" and a "non-distracting environment," I'm going to go out on a limb and say there are worse things than a kid whose haircut is a little different, worse distractions in the classroom than somebody's hairdo.

Let's set aside the good deed Kamryn was doing here for her friend.

What schools like Caprock -- and those around the country with similarly draconian dress codes -- fail to recognize is that hair is one of the few things that can be changed by a child with little to no negative long-term effects. It's one "safe" rebellion.

Kids NEED those. They need to have some ways to express themselves that won't have negative repercussions down the line. That's how they learn who they are and what it means to make their own decisions. 

Let me put it this way: I'd much prefer kids shave their heads and a few kids at school point, stare, and make some comments at the beginning of the class period than kids experiment and stretch their wings by doing something dangerous ... drugs, alcohol, you name it -- you know, something truly "distracting" or "unsafe" for a school community.

Caprock seems to be relenting, by the way, but the outrage over this should send a message to other schools.

It's just hair!

What do you think is an appropriate dress code guideline for kids' hair?


Image via Robert S. Donovan/Flickr

behavior, elementary school, education


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Freela Freela

I understand the point of dress codes but think that in many cases they are rules just for the sake of rules.  I can't see why having a shaved head should ever be banned, and especially not in this case.  I think this kind of thing is just silly.

jkp-buff jkp-buff

Did the girl with cancer attend the same school as her friend? If so, did the school tell the girl with cancer that she couldn't return to school until her hair had grown back?

Wyatt... WyattsMom772

What a crock of bull. Schools are way out of control. I am so sick of all the stupid "rules" they have on children who are positive role models. ugh

Todd Vrancic

Well, if I were the parents of this girl, I would withdraw her from that school like yesterday !

David B Cordick

all the bitching and complaining about this crap going on in the schools is useless.  kid points a finger and goes bang and some liberal scumbag pisses his or her pants and reports the kid to the school office.  instead of someone with some common sense telling the teacher to get a life and go back and forget about it, oh no, we have to get the police, counselors, shrinks and every other liberal ass with an opionion on board the idiot train.  the hair thing is the same.  searching kids lockers, breaking into their vehicles because they have a suspicion.  and wow, they found a pocket knife that is part of the kids working uniform.  everybody pisses their pants, expell the kid, charge him with a felony, ruin the army career he was looking forward to.  these are just a couple of examples.  all anyone does is bitch about it, but the courts go on their merry way ruining kids lives for the sake of liberals to feel good.  maybe we aught to start dispensing citizens justice to get the attention of these liberals that have gone power crazy, with the knowledge that no one is going to do anything to them.  maybe it is time to just start beating the crap out of them until they join the rest of us in the sane world.  if it doesnt work the first time, repeat until it does.

lynked lynked

This is the most ridiculous and egregious thing I have ever heard of.  We should all applaud kids who stand up for their friends who are different or going through a tough time like losing one's hair due to cancer/chemo.  I agree with the previous poster who said he'd withdraw his kid from this school. 


Lacey Tierney

Did the parents know about the dress code before/as they entered the girl into the school? If so, then they are in the wrong. They knew the rules and chose to break them...

Einyn Einyn

@David, and then we have the Republicans running off with all their religious freedoms trampled and omg how can we be doing this to them?!? It does both ways. Leave the politics out of it.

Fay Cerullo

A pox on their heads! I guess they have been the lucky ones that the dreaded beast, cancer, hasn't touched yet. Let one of them have a child, niece or nephew, or grandchild afflicted with cancer, and see how quickly they change their minds. Charter school my a$$. Another way for narrow minded people to tout that they are better than others. Hurray for that young girl. Her compassion and bravery will take her far in life. And congrats to her parents for supporting her. Signed, a cancer mom.

nonmember avatar night magic

she shouldnt be punished for being so caring enough to support her friend .this shows a very lovely and brave person who simply wanted to show in some way she empathized with a friend who is going through alot .

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