While most parents are pulling their own hair out trying to teach their four-year-old children to share, to be sympathetic to others, and to realize that there is a world outside of their own needs, one set of parents in New Jersey have had to explain to their child that he has been expelled from his private school due to his efforts to embrace these concepts.
Pre-Kindergarten student Jack Anthony Szablewski has been growing his hair over the past 13 months in order to get it long enough to donate to the National Children’s Leukemia Foundation as a wig for cancer patients.
Jack’s parents report that he has been expelled from St. Dominic School in Brick, NJ, due to “dress code violations” which include specific guidelines that, “[Boys’] hair length may not exceed the back of the shirt collar and should be above the eyes.” There are no guidelines regarding hairstyles for girls.
The school’s spokeswoman, Rayanne Bennett told the Courier-Post that Jack had been excused from this stipulation, “out of respect for his hair donation efforts”, but also indicates that she had reached an agreement with his parents regarding how long this reprieve would last, and asserts that the parents didn’t follow the rules of the arrangement. The Szablewski’s contend that the dress code was added to the school’s handbook after they had already paid tuition to the private Catholic school.
Regardless, the message has been delivered to Jack that he can no longer attend his school due to his efforts to honor his grandfather as well as a family friend who both died of leukemia. And while the child still intends on donating his hair to the foundation, his mother states, “Our spirit was so broken”.
What do you think? Did the school act fairly, or did they loose sight of the spirit of what the child was doing? Leave your ideas in the comments!
Jodi Nelson Call
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