Principal Shaves Head To Show Support for Bullied Student
There’s at least one middle school principal in America who hasn’t forgotten that the well being of his students is his top priority. Tim Hadley, principal of Pekin Elementary School in Iowa, allowed a student to shave his head after the student was bullied over his shaved head.
It started when Jackson Johnston, a 6th grader at Hadley’s school, decided to shave his head in a show of support for his grandfather, who has cancer and has started to lose his hair while he undergoes chemotherapy.
“He took off his cap and said, ‘Hey, Papa! I thought we could start a new club together!” Jackson’s mother, Amber, explains. “It was really moving. Papa was just so overcome with emotion and touched that Jackson would do something like that for him.”
Most would think Jackson would be applauded for his small sacrifice, and he felt great about his decision to shave his head until some of his classmates started making fun of him.
Jackson told his mother about some of the teasing, and she called Hadley to let him know what was happening at the school.
“It really struck me,” Hadley said. “He’s just a kid. He’s already going through something with his grandpa. Stage four Lymphoma.”
Without hesitation, Hadley instructed Jackson to bring his clippers to school the next day. The principal called an assembly, and in front of the entire school, allowed Jackson to shave his head, much to the delight of many of the students and teachers in attendance.
“My big goal wasn’t the act of shaving, but rather, I wanted to show the kids that it’s important to stand up for each other and support one another,” Hadley explains.
After allowing Jackson to shave his head, Hadley led a discussion with students about the importance of their words and actions. “I said, ‘Let’s think about it. Are my words going to build others up, or take them down?'” the principal describes. “I said, ‘I hope all of you choose to build.'”
Some of the students who teased Jackson have since apologized to him.
One of the school’s teachers took a video of Hadley having his hair shaved off. It was posted on Facebook and has since been shared over 1,000 times and view more than 95,000 times.