Stephen: Teen Withdraws From School After He’s Told to Cut Hair He’s Growing for His Sick Sister
A Texas teenager has withdrawn from high school after administrators told him his long hair–which he’s growing out to make a wig for his sick sister–violated the school dress code. Back in October, 11-year-old Maggie Johnson was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder; treating the disease with chemotherapy has caused her hair to fall out. Her 16-year-old brother, Newt, decided to help her by growing out his own hair for her.
Last month, the Poth High School principal told the Johnsons that Newt couldn’t return to school unless his hair was cut. Dad Alan Johnson told NBC News on Monday that the principal made his decision despite knowing why Newt was growing out his hair. “He said, ‘No, he can come back when he gets his hair cut,'” Alan says. “They made him leave, they knew he wasn’t going to get his hair cut.”
Meanwhile, the school district is blaming the whole thing on the Johnsons for not formally challenging the dress code. “There was an avenue and process to seek resolution to the issue that the parent chose not to take, thereby negating the opportunity for a different resolution,” Superintendent Paula Renken said in a statement. Dad Alan Johnson adds, “It’s disappointing it’s come to this. No one wants something like this to happen. But he loves his sister so much, he’s made up his mind he’s going to help her.” Newt is now being home-schooled.