Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cancer Survivor Suspended For Wanting To Donate Hair To Locks Of Love


JT Gaskins had leukemia as a child. He survived. One of his close friends did not. JT is 17 years old and decided he wanted to grow his hair long and then donate it to Locks Of Love. A great and noble idea and something everyone should do at least once in their life. If I was actually capable of growing more than a hair or two which I twist and form into big circles to make it appear I have hair, I would follow JT's example. Well, school administrators in Michigan are not supporters of Locks Of Love and suspended JT for 3 days because his hair was too long. JT refused to cut his hair but he and his mother came up with alternatives. The school was having none of it and has suspended JT indefinitely until he cuts his hair. There are 33,000 names on a petition on change.org supporting JT's goal.

43 comments:

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

I donate my hair every few years to a Canadian version of this. In fact, I just cut a foot and a half for donation. This is some bullshit and the school should be ashamed of themselves. I mean, don't you have bigger problems than a boy growing his hair out for a wonderful cause?

RenoBlondee said...

I don't know. If the school has guidelines on how long hair can be for boys they can't change the rules for 1 boy. He's only got 1 more year and then he can grow it for however long he wants.
Not that I necessarily agree, but these kids and parents keep wanting schools to make exceptions and it gets old.
Terrific of him to want to help though for sure!

Lori said...
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Lori said...

i think that it is very admirable that he wants to grow and donate his hair, but if it is against school policy (dress code,etc), then I see why they would have suspended him. It's an unfortunate situation, but if they decide to bend the rules for him, they would possibly leave themselves open for all sorts of requests to bend the rules for other people. Where does it end?

chopchop said...

If it's against school dress code, then the school is in the right. If it's a made-up rule that they just started enforcing when this particular kid started showing up with longer hair, then they're in the wrong.

What if some girl wanted to wear only her bra to school to support some breast cancer charity? Should the school let her because, gosh, it's for charity! Or should the school say, um, nice gesture and all but it's against school policy to wear only underwear to class. It seems to me the press is making a big deal out of nothing really.

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

I read the school's hair policy. It says that it can't go past the shirt collar. What I want to know is if the girls are held to that length too. Somehow I doubt it.

Vicki Cupper said...

The wonderful "Christian" uni I went to made a guy cut his hair even though he was growing it specifically for Locks of Love.

It's a bullshit rule, but rules is rules.

Tam said...

It's just hair. Let it be long. If there is a policy in the school against long hair that is just silly. It is a big difference between some guy having long hair and a girl wearing just a bra to school. In this case I totally support the kid. Even if it was not for charity, you should be able to wear you hair anyway you want.

RocketQueen said...
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RocketQueen said...

WHY WON'T THEY LET HIS HAIR BE GREAT?!

I donated my hair last year, too. The hair has to be its natural colour and with my greys finally becoming unmanageable, I figured I'd have to start dying, so I cut it all off, mailed it away and now I dye my hair.

bluebird said...

Don't see why girls can grow their hair and boys can't in the first place.

Del Riser said...

There is so much wrong with today's schools. It does not speak well of us as a society that schools are forced to have zero tolerance policies for drugs, weapons, bullying, dress, and apparently hair.
Schools must cater to the most common denominator, so less for the gifted student and less for the student that needs help, and next to/or nothing for the student who wants to do something worthy that seems to cross swords with
a school policy.
I would bet that if the rules change for him, a hundred boys will say they are growing their hair long for the same thing.
If the school will not listen to alternatives, JT should just wait until he can do his donating without the schools interference.
He has waited this long. This will be his first lesson in learning to pick his battles.

nolachickee said...

A hair or two that you twist and form into big circles...Enty, no wonder you drink! Thank you for that pretty picture that I now will not be able to erase from my brain.

And as far as JT goes - rules are rules, but this really sucks. I hate it when a young person tries to do good, and gets shot down in the process. Already puts a tarnish on their world, even before they have the trials and tribulations of adult life.

Vikingwench said...

I thought the days of school regulating hair lenght was over. If it's a private school, the easy solution is to withdraw and go public. Or homeschool.

crila16 said...

WHAT??? WTF? This is absolutely ridiculous on the part of the school. I want to sign this petition.

EmEyeKay said...

I think it's a stupid rule, and wish he could donate. What bothers me more is that the situation is taking time away from the administration doing their job. Public schools need all the help they can get. I wonder how many hours have been lost dealing with this?

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

The petition has almost 50,000 signatures now.

I just signed it.

hotchacha said...

Length of hair rules? Silly and pointless. If it's about being washed and groomed, I'm sure he washed and brushes it, so the administration is just being pissy for no reason.

People should have more sex, then they wouldn't be so uptight and brittle over such assy minutae.

Borg Queen said...

can he grow his long in the summer and still be able to donate it.

Seachica said...

I'd like to see the school administration give them some alternatives, like holding a fundraising campaign for Locks of Love. There are so many ways he can help that do NOT go against school policy.

jen said...
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Patty said...

All of my daughters have done this. Another one wants to do it again. Yeah, I'm not sure she can tolerate her getting that long now so we'll see.

Noble cause aside, schools have dress codes that need to be followed. Just wait till you graduate and then you can grow your hair as long as you want.

Ice Angel said...

It doesn't state whether or not the school is private or not. If it's private, then there is a code of rules when you register. While unfortunate that this is not going his way, the child, while honerable, should come up with one of hundreds of other ways to support the cause that still fit within the school rules.

If it's a public school, I have a hard time believing this is policy. I see boys going to school with all lengths, colors and cuts of hair in the public schools.

We all must make choices and I think the parents of this child have advised him to make a foolish choice. While understandable he wants to help, he is sacrificing his education, which is not cool-nor is it something a person in need of a wig would wish him to do.

I say wait till end of the year, or transfer to a different school that allows the hair.

Just an FYI.

(And I hope no one turns this into a Christian thing. They are called "private" schools for a reason. Parents pay money to send their kids to these schools, which have specific sets of rules. These parents (Ok I am one of them) also pay taxes to support the public schools as well, so it's not like we aren't doing our share.

brendalove@gmail.com said...

What year is this? 1971?

Jaded said...

I don't understand why such rules exist - I do understand that there might be requirements for neat/ tidy/ groomed, but frankly I don't think the road to hell is paved only with males with long hair. It's ridiculous to me that there are different rules for males and females. Are females at this school required to have hair longer than collar length?
I think there are much more important things to be worried about with teenagers than the length of their hair. Add to that his intent (as you would in legal actions), and surely the decision is questionable

B said...

I understand enforcing rules and this is a shame...and a good time to change the rule. I am a conservative Christian, but I have no problem with self expression as long as there is modesty. It is a ridiculous rule. It's just hair...boys can't have long hair because??? Locks of Love is an organization I have donated to several times (I'm in the process of growing it long enough again now). Give the kid a break.

Rose said...

Certain rules are meant to be re-evaluated. This kid should be set as a good example rather than kicked out.

Lynette said...

My 14 year old cuts her hair every 2nd year and donates 14-16" to the Canadian version of this too. It's a wonderful thing to do. As long as the boy keeps it well groomed there should not be an issue. Surely they have bigger things to deal with. Off to sign the petition....

RJ said...

If it's a rule that the school wants to keep on their books, then I get why they are enforcing this. However, I would think that with all of the hundreds of discipline problems facing schools today, hair length would be the least of their worries. It makes me wonder to they have a similiar rule for girls. For instance, if a girl comes to school with a pixie cut, would she be expelled for having her hair too short (and therefore too masculine)? If the school allows girls to have very short hair, then I think they should let boys have really long hair.

However, rules are rules. If he's 17, then he's probably a senior. Come May, he can grow his hair as long as he wants. Locks of Love isn't going anywhere. LoL is a great organization. I donated 11 inches of hair to them a few years ago. I now have very, very short hair which would probably worry the tabloids that my sexual orientation might change at any moment!

Rawsterdam said...

Donated over 30cm to the Dutch version of this, December 2010
Am growing my hair back.

Robin the Mad Photographer said...

There are private (usually Christian) school out there who not only insist the boys keep their hair short, but insist that the girls keep their hair longer than a certain length, so a girl wouldn't be allowed to have, say, a pixie cut or even a short bob. If they're private schools, they're certainly within their rights to make such rules, and I'm certainly within my rights to say it's completely ridiculous to be that obsessed with gender differences.

There are also certain fundamentalist Christian groups who don't let women cut their hair at all--IIRC, Dolly Parton's parents had both been raised in such a group, and one of the first things Mrs. Parton did after they'd married and left home was to run to a beauty parlor and get her hair cut. ;-)

car54 said...

What's more important, what's on his head, or what's in his heart? They are turning a good kind thing into a huge negative.

Mari said...

It's a Christian school?
Oh. So Jesus would be kicked out for his hair.

weezy said...

I'm totally on team SeaChica. Trouble with making an exception for this wonderful boy is that we all know a couple of clowns will grow their hair waist-length, then NOT donate it to Locks of Love. Just to show they're bad.

Lori said...

I went to both public and private schools and they both had rules about hair length for boys.
I got in trouble in private school for having an "unnatural" blue color in my hair. They were the rules and I violated them, so I dealt with the consequenses...and switched to a public school (a really good one, so my mom was ok with it) and enjoyed a little more freedom in my personal attire and hair.

Krab said...

Locks of Love is a basically a scam that sells most of the hair they receive. Plus, why do people think it's for children with cancer when it's for alopecia?

The rules are the rules.

hamster party said...

What year is this?!

Ridiculous.

hamster party said...

http://www.change.org/petitions/jts-cause-amend-hair-policy-for-boys-for-donating-hair-to-charity#

There's the link for the petition for those interested.

gee-gee said...

Yes. It's the school policy. But that doesn't mean the school policy isn't stupid. Because it is. God, I don't miss high school!

WUWT? said...

Well, long hair weighs more than short hair, so it creates strain for the brain, and that impedes learning. And all the school cares about is learning, right?
Yeah, right.

(Also having someone pull up a fifth chair to the table at lunchtime will lead to drugs/pregnancy/socialism/high drop-out rates. Only four kids per table...it's to help your education.)

*don't miss high school AT ALL*

If it IS a Christian school, remember when God chose David to be the next king, but when David's father is told, he thinks David is all wrong for it, that there must be a mistake. The answer? "Man looks at the outside appearance, the LORD looks at the heart."

Lelaina Pierce said...

I understand the reason for dress code (as long as it isn't too extreme), but I've never understood why guys can't have long hair. Or why girls can't have blue hair or a Mohawk if they want.

I'm normally on the side of the school but in this particular case....I think suspension is a bit ridiculous. On the flip side, supposedly, the school offered alternative ways to grow out his hair (cornrows was one ex), but they declined.

Tatyana said...

Blogger Lelaina Pierce said...

"I understand the reason for dress code (as long as it isn't too extreme), but I've never understood why guys can't have long hair."

For the same reason the posters on this board almost line up to condemn "girly" hair on sons of celebrities?

zeldafitzgerald said...

what year is it, america???

Also, where is the link to the petition?

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