Colorado Girl Shaves Head In Solidarity With Friend In Chemotherapy . . . School Suspends Girl For Violating Dress Code

logoIn what has become the new normal for teachers and administrators, we have yet another case of a suspension based on a thoughtless and heartless application of a school rule. The latest outrage comes from Caprock Academy in Grand Junction where Kamryn Campbell was suspended when she showed up at school with a shaved head. The teachers and administrator said that a shaved head violated the hair code of the school but she explained that she shaved off her hair to support a friend battling cancer. The school basically said “that’s nice” and suspended her.

Kamryn’s good friend Delaney, 11, has lost her hair to chemotherapy due to her neuroblastoma and Kamryn did an extraordinary thing in shaving off her own hair. It is the type of sacrifice that shows tremendous humanity and maturity and was met by the complete absence of those traits in her teachers and administrators.

What is astonishing is not simply that some teacher reported the girl and administrators punished the girl, but the board of directors thinks that this was a justified action. Catherine Norton-Breman, president and Chair of the academy’s board of directors, insisted that the dress code “was created to promote safety, uniformity, and a non-distracting environment for the school’s students. Under this policy, shaved heads are not permitted.” There is no statement of outrage or disgust from the board about the treatment of this noble child. Until I read Breman’s comment, I thought that this was a case where someone needs to be fired. Now it appears that it is a far greater and endemic problem in this school. I cannot imagine putting one of my children in the care of such people, but I would remove any child from the school after reading this story. (To make matters worse, Norton-Breman is a lawyer who is President and General Counsel of Allen Incorporated, an asset management company).

We have previously followed the suspensions and discipline of students under zero tolerance policies that are used by teachers to justify zero judgment or responsibility. I have long criticized zero tolerance policies that have led to suspensions and arrests of children (here and here, here and here and here and here). Here is a prior column on the subject (and here).Children have been suspended or expelled for drawing stick figures or wearing military hats or bringing Legos shaped like guns or even having Danish in the shape of a gun. Despite the public outcry over the completely irrational and abusive application of zero tolerance rules, administrators and teachers continue to apply them blindly. If you do not have to exercise judgment, you can never been blamed for any failure. Conversely, even when the public outcry results in a reversals, teachers and administrators never seem punished with the same vigor for showing no judgment or logic in punishing a child.

It the mission statement for the school, families are told:

Character is more than an adornment of a classical education; it is its conditio sine qua non. It is only fitting, therefore, that the mission of our school is to hold everyone to high academic and ethical standards. . . . Any time we transcend the status quo, we have to seek out a certain amount of discomfort. The removal of ignorance from our minds requires effort. . . . we are all working for the benefit of your child’s intellectual and moral growth. . . . Our students delight in being challenged, they rise to the tasks we give them, and they astound themselves, their parents, and us with their eloquence, their learning, and, more often than not, with a maturity that is beyond their peers.

Of course, Kamryn showed amazing character and ethics in her action and was punished for it. She is the mature figure in this story. The only accomplishment from this mission statement is achieving that level of discomfort for most of us.

Source: USA Today

51 thoughts on “Colorado Girl Shaves Head In Solidarity With Friend In Chemotherapy . . . School Suspends Girl For Violating Dress Code”

  1. they apparently back tracked really quickly and invited her back to school on Tuesday. Only one board member voted no because he didn’t want to set a precedent of making exceptions to the rule. (idiot) They are now reviewing the rules.

  2. bettykath i totally concur with your assessment of what zero tolerance is about. just today i read a story of a 8 year old who was suspended from school because she wore her hair short and preferred tee shirts and jeans to a dress and shoes… but hey you know were the dying generation they dont expect us to be around to tell our descendants of how times were when we were growing up…. that pharma industry is doing its dam best to see to that

  3. LOL i see nick is in full force so nick do tell me if all schools are run by liberals and feminist who is it thats REWRITING history along with the books? here’s a hint they are all in texas and we know texas isnt a liberal or feminist state………….

  4. I like the zero tolerance for school administrators. Get a ticket, no more driving. Bounce a check, obviously you can’t control your finances so we’ll be taking care of that. Male pattern baldness? Bring a note from your doctor, until then, go home.

    this could be fun

  5. Caprock Academy of Grand Junction Colorado conditioning today’s children to be tomorrows chattel.

  6. The education industry is a construct of liberals and feminists. Their doctrine permeates all schools. Yeas, there are elected officials who can be conservative, but they are fighting a monolith education industry that is corrupt and malfunctioning to its core. As David aid, competition is what made this country great and competition is just what is needed.

  7. What Rcampbell said! The idea that a school which is a charter school and parents can already choose this school instead of another shows the folly of competition in schools.
    No dagda, most schools are not run by liberals and progressives. All you have to do is see who populates the school boards in many communities.

  8. What is it with schools’ fixation on hair? This has been going on for decades. A child’s hair style, as long as it is clean, should be the parent’s business, not the schools’. By fixating on hair style, or lack thereof, the schools create a much greater disruption than any hair style possibly could.

  9. How impressive this school teacher and administrator would have been had THEY shaved THEIR heads in support of this student.

    I would then believe them when they say they are committed to their own mission statement, which includes this “…Any time we transcend the status quo, we have to seek out a certain amount of discomfort. The removal of ignorance from our minds requires effort. . . . we are all working for the benefit of your child’s intellectual and moral growth.”

    Sorry, Caprock Academy, that’s a swing and a miss.

  10. I’m sick of hearing about vouchers. Taxes should be spent on improving the public school system, not supporting the profit-making of private schools.

  11. Darren

    Having endured a half dozen or so of those tedious, boring, fruitless, wastes of corporate and personal time, I whole heatedly agree with your accessment of Mission Statements.


    There never was and never will be a good time to weaken our public school systems with vouchers. The record is consistent, though: Wherever and whenever there’s a terrible idea, there’s always a conservative nearby to champion it.

  12. Yet another problem that would be resolved by introducing competition in the school system by letting parents choose which schools they place their children. Time for a school voucher system.


    UPDATE 9:45 a.m: Girl allowed to return to school; mother seeks policy change

    A Caprock Academy student who was held out of school Monday because she violated the dress code by shaving her head in support of a friend battling childhood cancer was allowed to return to school this morning.

    “She got up, got ready, and held her head high as she walked into her classroom this morning. To say her dad and I are proud, is a total understatement,” Jamie Renfro, the mother of Kamryn Renfro, posted on her Facebook page this morning.

    In a Facebook posting Monday evening, Jamie Renfro said she doesn’t blame the school or the board of directors and insists her family’s top priority is to get the school’s policy changed.

  14. How else to more quickly get a compliant population for the feudal society that is being built? Teach the children of today that strict adherence to all rules is absolutely required, no exceptions; that independent initiatives are not to be undertaken, that creationism trumps science, that basic math takes foooreeever to do so why bother, etc.

  15. As rcampbell pointed out…. One of the public charter schools…. They can do pretty much what the school charter says they can do….

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