This week, we saw news about three cases of school discipline fails, all involving brave and bold girls.
Last Friday, a Virginia Beach, Virginia school suspended a middle school girl who saved a schoolmate from hurting himself by taking away the utility knife he was going to use to cut into his skin the day before. After going home and sharing the story with her mom, Adrionna Harris reported the incident to school the next day. Only, rather than applaud Harris’ heroic act, administrators at Bayside Middle School punished her with a 10-day suspension under the school’s strict zero tolerance weapons policy. Adrionna’s mom Rachael Harris told wonkette.com she was “shocked that a student would get suspended for saving another child…. Under the circumstances, she thought he would bleed out, as he was cutting himself, and there was no teacher in sight. It was a 911 situation, and there wasn’t time to find a teacher.”
A little ways away in Lynchburg, Virginia, a Christian school sent a letter home to an 8-year old girl the school said was behaving and dressing too much like a boy. In a note, school officials at Timberlake Christian School stated Sunnie Kahle‘s boyish dressing were at odds with the school’s Christian teachings and that she confused other students about her gender identity. Sunnie’s grandparents, who have adopted her, put her in a public school where she eventually was teased daily, primarily because of her unconventional dress. Sunnie’s grandmother Doris Thompson told MSN Living that Sunnie would like to return to her old school with her friends but she isn’t interested in sending her back to a school that rejected her for essentially being a tomboy.
Going West, we also learned this week of a 9-year old Colorado girl who was kicked out of school for shaving her head out of solidarity with a classmate and friend battling cancer. School administrators at Caprock Academy in Grand Junction, Colorado said Karmryn Redfro‘s buzzcut violated the school’s dress code. Even after Redfro’s mom, Wendy Campbell, emailed the school to explain the circumstance of her daughter’s haircut and that she was not a Neo-Nazi skinhead which the policy seeks to punish, the school officials still refused to acknowledge it and make an exception.
Redfro’s friend Delaney Clements, who has started chemotherapy, said she appreciated her friend’s goodwill gesture.
“It made me feel very special and that I’m not alone,” Celements told 9 News.
Wendy Campbell added: “For a little girl to be really brave and want to shave her head in support of her friend, I thought that was a huge statement and it builds character in a child.”
What do you think of these three cases? How should each be resolved?