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Meet the Awesome Kid Who Shaved Her Head to Support Her Friend…and the School That Punished Her

Meet the Awesome Kid Who Shaved Her Head to Support Her Friend…and the School That Punished Her

Everyone deserves a best friend. A friend who has your back no matter what. A friend who, when you get sick or feel bad, is there with a smile or a joke or just an ear.

Kamryn Renfro seems to be one of those friends. She, with her parents permission, shaved her head in support of her friend Denaley Clements who was being treated for a cancer. But when Kamryn went to school the day after she shaved her head, she was in for a surprise.

However, when Kamryn tried to go back to school at Caprock Academy in Grand Junction this week, she wasn’t allowed in. Turns out, having a shaved head is a violation of the school’s dress code policy. Delaney’s mom, Wendy Campbell, couldn’t believe it.

“I didn’t realize that hair was such an important aspect of a child at school,” Campbell said.

It’s easy to think of reasons why a shaved head might not be allowed in a school setting. I mean, I completely understand why one might not want skinheads running the school halls. But this is obviously different. Kamryn is a preteen who did a selfless thing for her friend. This isn’t even a grey area.

According to a statement from the school:

“Caprock Academy does have a detailed dress code policy, which was created to promote safety, uniformity, and a non-distracting environment for the school’s students. Under this policy, shaved heads are not permitted,” said Catherine Norton Breman, President and Chair of Caprock Academy Board of Directors.

It is, admittedly, hard to think of a shaved head as a matter of safety. Nor would a shaved head be especially distracting, at least after the first day or two. Although requiring everyone to have hair certainly promotes uniformity, I guess. (And the virtues of uniformity in this case are debatable.)

Kamryn was allowed to return to school Tuesday while the school’s board of directors discussed the issue. At a special meeting held on Tuesday night, the school board voted 3-1 to reverse the decision and let Kamryn come back to school.

News of the school’s actions came on the heels of another outrageous story of a girl who wasn’t allowed in school because of how she looked. Sunnie Kahle is an 8-year-old who goes to a Christian school in Virginia. Well, went to a Christian school. She was pulled out because the school administration said she looked too much like a boy and did not conform to “biblical standards.”

Sunnie’s school was clearly motivated by religion, and Kamryn’s was not, but there is still something in common. Both are enforcing norms of the “proper” way people should look. Girls should look and act a certain way. Head-shaving is somehow deviant. There may be different motivations in these cases, but the result is the same.

Kamryn’s school said in a statement that exceptions have been made in the past on a case-by-case basis and they will be reviewing the situation at hand. But you can do something to make more permanent change in the lives of the kids at Caprock Academy. Please sign and share the petition telling the school to change its dress code.

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Photo Credit: Jamie Olson Renfro via Facebook

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137 comments

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7:04PM PDT on Apr 21, 2014

The school board members are just a bunch of idiotic robots! They do not have the ability to think and reason nor can they feel compassion like real humans. They certainly have much to learn from this kid!

7:02AM PDT on Apr 15, 2014

I was expecting to be outraged by the facts of this story, but instead was left perplexed. WHERE is the controversy? Caprock Academy enforced its dress code on the 1st day. After review, they REVERSED their decision & allowed Kamryn back in school. Mature, responsible, looking at each case on an individual basis. What more could you ask for? Why the need for a petition? Comparing Kamryn's case with the dress code of a private school is apples:oranges. No one is forced to go there. As the wife of a HS teacher & mom of 4 teens, Dress codes are necessary but difficult. There needs to some modicum of decency & safety to prevent distraction & dysharmony, displays of obvious gang symbols, hate groups, obscenities, etc. For a greater impact than a personal statement, Kamryn & her school should become involved with St Baldrick's Day, a national fundraiser for kids with cancer, where both teachers & students shave their heads & raise money for kids who need it. Also Locks of Love. Awesome programs. Solidarity. Benefits beyond one person. BTW, Kamryn, you rock!

6:18AM PDT on Apr 15, 2014

Kamryn is my hero. Her friend is brave too, for doing what she needs to do to survive. She is lucky to have such a good friend.

Dress codes are good, but we have stupid people enforcing them. Those enforcers need some compassionate training/PILLS if necessary.

Alan L. and Robert O. said it best, give them green stars!

C2 Crew: When covering the pictures or the names of members, why does it work sometimes but not often to bring up the brief profile? Also sometimes only one part works, are you writing the codes for each individual person? Make a template and copy it into each profile instead of writing from memory, this makes it easier so you don't forget. Thank you for all you are trying to do.

8:27PM PDT on Apr 9, 2014

Ah yes, the dress code.....this is one of those cases where the administration could have let it go based on her reasons for the shaved head.

1:38AM PDT on Apr 5, 2014

The teachers of this school really know how to teach don't they! this is th 21 st centry is'nt it? the should get a life !

2:47AM PDT on Apr 4, 2014

I appreciate the courage, warmth and the true spirit of friendship of Kamryn Renfro. She deserved applause for what she had done to boost up the spirit of her friend Delany; but instead of getting praises, she wasn't allowed in. She didn't violate any rule. Every case should be judged and given merit if it deserves. A student may need to shave her head for many reasons other than medical causes. In many countries, it's a ritual to shave head after the demise of parents and the sacred thread ceremony, (the practice is followed by male children). I was taken aback to learn that having a shaved head is a violation of the school's dress-code and how rigid the rules are! The student was turned out!
The girl did it for a noble cause. She is neither a rebel, nor sporting a new look to draw attention of others. She didn't disrupt safety, uniformity and non-distracting uniformity of her school---overall the school's dress-code.
Good to know that the board of directors of the school reversed the decision and Kamryn returned to school. The school board voted 3-1; all the votes should have gone in her favour. I request Caprock Academy to be more flexible in its dress-code policy. I understand, students are supposed to wear uniforms and follow specific instructions of schools; but rules should never be so rigid to take away a person's total freedom. She shaved her head for a genuine, noble cause; and without probing the case, how could she be barred from attending classes?

2:08PM PDT on Apr 2, 2014

This is really horrible story. what's even worse is that a letter from the school to Sunnie's grandmother they both accused Sunnie of being gay and of not knowing her own gender. Shaving you head to support a friend with cancer has absolutely nothing to do with your gender or sexual preference!

12:12PM PDT on Apr 2, 2014

AWESOME kid and really stupid school officials. they should shave their own heads as penance!

3:55AM PDT on Apr 1, 2014

Glad the decision got reversed. When I went to school, the girls had to fight for trousers to be included in the winter uniform. Now, decades on, I have been laughed at or questioned for such various activities as wearing overalls, carrying a briefcase and refusing to wear pink (during treatment for cancer). I am well and truly tired of the expectations put on women to look a certain way!

9:24PM PDT on Mar 30, 2014

some schools are run by arseholes

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