School Lets Dying Teen Sneak Into Prom

prom corsageNeed some good school news to counteract stories like "autistic teacher may be fired for making fun of an overweight kid" or "principal punishes kid for being nice to gays"? Grab the tissues. Because a school in North Dakota did the RIGHT thing by telling just one sophomore they'd look the other way for a day so she could go to the junior/senior prom.

How so? Because 15-year-old Morgan Hayes has cancer so advanced that doctors have stopped treatment. She's in a clinical trial that may extend her life, but isn't expected to save it. They celebrated her June birthday in March ... just in case. Now you understand the tissues.


But hopefully a part of you is smiling too?

I couldn't help but cheer for the school district that has enabled Hayes to get a chance to just be a normal kid for a day by letting her attend the prom -- even though she's technically too young to go. When kids are sick, it's the normal things they crave -- anything that will let them feel like a person and not a pin cushion. One little girl who I think of every year I shave my head for childhood cancer just wanted a chance to go to kindergarten again before she died. Her school, I'm relieved to report, let her.

But I don't hear about those schools enough. Anymore the story of the day seems to be yet another school board or administrator who treats kids and staff one way, regardless of the situation. But real life is situational. To be human is to act not like a computer in making logical decisions but to let your heart play a role too. I want a human in the schools making decisions. How else can they nurture our kids and guide them into being both thinking and caring adults?

That's the example administrators at the high school in Langdon, North Dakota, are setting for students with their rule-breaking for Morgan Hayes. They're treating her with their hearts instead of their heads. They're breaking the rules for a dying child ... because they CAN.

Do you think schools treat kids too much like a mass and not enough like individuals?


Image via Varin Tsai/Flickr

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