Girl Suspended After Shaving Head for Cancer Victims — Including Her Dying Father

mtalverniahead04Emily Pridham, 15, stood out when she showed up at Mount Alvernia College in Brisbane, Australia with a shaven head. She was suspended for violating the school’s dress code, even though she shaved her head to raise money for cancer research — her father is dying of cancer.

Emily shaved her head as part of her effort to cope with her father battling leukemia. He is given only a few months to live.

The school has now banned her until her hair grows back. Local media received a statement that she was suspended for breaching the college’s uniform guidelines and had been suspended because of “ongoing issues”.

In this statement the college contests the account of the discipline but does not offer any explanation for it.

I can understand that there might be other issues. However, since the school recognizes that it knew of her father’s condition, I wonder if they were so serious as to add this burden only months before her father is expected to die.

For the full story, click here

13 thoughts on “Girl Suspended After Shaving Head for Cancer Victims — Including Her Dying Father

  1. This is an awful story. How cold can this school be? This is an example of when “policies” get in the way of real life situations. Some administrator needs to look closer at this and slap some reality into these school officials.

  2. “I am just appalled that she could be suspended by a Catholic school that promotes joy, respect and community spirit,” she said.

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    This was out of the article. Just as I suspected. The all, I want to be forgiven but, I can’t forgive you syndrome.

  3. This college needs a functioning PR department that could have warned the school officials of the terrible public relations mess this would cause for the school. Such a department would have been able to advise the officials on how to turn the girl’s actions into a windfall of positive PR for the institution.

  4. From NineMSN:

    In a statement, Mount Alvernia College principal Kerrie Tuite confirmed Emily had violated the school’s uniform rules and had been suspended for “ongoing issues”.

    The school’s uniform policy, posted on its website, states students should keep their hair “neat and tidy” and that hair below collar length should be tied back with white or maroon hair bands.

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    One would think that a school–a religious one in particular–could exhibit a little more compassion for a child and a family that is dealing with such a terrible situation. If the girl had “ongoing issues,” why expel her at this time and add to the family’s troubles?

    I wonder what these “ongoing issues” were. The school can’t mention them–but it has implied that she’s been a problem with that statement. That doesn’t seem fair–nor charitable–to me.

  5. As a former civil servant I can’t begin to tell all the times in my career that I ran into officious bastards using “The Rules” as a sop to their weak egos, as props for their innate sadism and to
    harm people they personally didn’t like. This is a human phenomena that occurs world wide and personally I believe it is one of the elements that keeps the human race from progressing socially.

    In this instance I would bet that with her father dying this girl had personal issues and may even have acted out. This brought on her the opprobrium of school officials, rather than the requisite empathy and the shaved head was merely the vehicle for finally humiliating her. If school officials lack the ability to understand the problems of children and teens, they have no place in education. Unfortunately, in our world these are the people who rise to the top.

  6. Mike S.,

    Unfortunately, in our world these are the people who rise to the top.

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    Do they not call this the Peter Principal, in this, case?

    Now you do understand why Generals are called Generals!

  7. The school’s uniform policy, posted on its website, states students should keep their hair “neat and tidy” and that hair below collar length should be tied back with white or maroon hair bands.

    Bald is “neat and tidy” isn’t it?

  8. Emily Pridham was expelled on account of her abusive behaviour towards her homeroom teacher, along with various other offences.
    She was suspended on Friday, proceeded to shave her head on the weekend, then showed up in school on Monday, despite being suspended.
    Mount Alvernia is a great school. I should know, as I am a student here right now.
    Emily was participating in Shave For a Cure, and because she is under 18 needs the permission of both her parents, and the school.
    Mt. A offered to sponsor Emily for our annual Shave For a Cure drive. Last year, we raised thousands of money for the cause, and she has omitted truths, consequently giving Mt. A a bad name.
    Yesterday while walking home, I was shouted at on numerous occasions. Being called scumbags and a stain on society is uncalled for.

    Mt. A is known for its various outreach endeavours, it is a shame the media has twisted like this.
    Emily has been supported throughout her schooling in relation to her father’s illness.
    In fact, last year she spoke at our Shave For a Cure fundraiser about her father.
    Emily has never raised an issue about how the school has dealt with her, or her father’s illness, until now.
    Mt. A is a great school, and Dr. Tuite has handled the situation with grace, and has respected Emily, even though the respect is not mutual.
    Thank you for taking the time to read this.

  9. The Queensland government should step in and do something to stop this archaic behaviour by this school.
    The principle should be SACKED immediately, what example is he showing to the students.
    The new papers should run a story “MONGREL ACT committed by school.”
    I hope Karma comes and bites the principle on the arse for this inhumane act. The poor girl, here she is showing strength beyond her years and a low life act like this is the last thing she needs.
    What the hell is happening to this world of ours?
    I hope the father has a miracle recovery.

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