For most of my life I have been a type-a strict rule follower. I’ve never been a rebel nor a pot-stirrer so this morning when I read a really great post titled Why I Have No Sympathy For The Mom Of The Child Who Shaved Her Head on a gal friend’s blog I was really surprised by how I reacted to it. I absolutely agree 100% with the argument that this little girl’s mother chose to ignore or be ignorant of a school policy and that what she did broke the rules and there are consequences when you break a rule. Wait a minute, though….
This photo was taken on January 30, 2011. My son was 11 years old and a bunch of his friends got together for a “buzz cut party”. The idea was to show support for their friend, Charlie, who was going through chemotherapy for a rare form of cancer. My kid sat down and told them to shave it all off because Cancer Sucks. He didn’t ask for permission and he certainly didn’t think twice about what his school rules about hair were. At the time, we were living in Denver, Colorado and he attended a private Episcopal School that most likely had a dress code similar to the one at Caprock Academy. Nobody said anything about it to him and our school was so small and close-knit that I’m willing to bet they even knew about the party.
If he had asked for permission I have no doubt in my mind that I would have told him to go for it. I was so proud of him and even had I known about a rule or policy that would have brought on the consequence of suspension I probably would have told him to go for it anyway and we’d deal with the consequences. My message would not be that we should break rules we disagree with but that sometimes when you BELIEVE in something, and what you are doing is a good thing and not hurting anyone, you should be brave and stand up for what you believe in and be a doer, a pot stirrer, and game changer. Even writing those words gives me a boost of anxiety but I want my kids to know that just because a rule exists does not mean that it is right. Follow your heart and listen to your gut. Face consequences but never be afraid to do what you think and feel is right.
I agree that the mother could have asked for permission ahead of time in order to head off this controversy and had I not experienced this very thing with my own son I might have written exactly what Amy wrote on Freaky Perfect but I think I’m changing in my old age because I don’t think “rule breaking” is always a black and white issue. OMG I really just typed that and meant it…
If you haven’t been following the story you might be interested to know that the school’s board of directors met and the girl is back in school. “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.”