Colorado Girl Kamryn Renfro Shaves Head to Support Friend Dealing With Cancer...and Is Punished For It

Meet Kamryn Renfro. She’s a third grader at Caprock Academy in Grand Rapids, Colorado, and she just did something amazing for her best friend, Delaney Celements, who is currently going through an extremely difficult time. Delaney, you see, was diagnosed in 2010 with a rare form of childhood cancer called neuroblastoma; she had a relapse this past January, resulting in a course of chemotherapy that made her hair fall out. Over the weekend, Kamryn shaved her head as a show of support — but what Caprock Academy do in response? They suspended Kamryn for violating the school dress code.

Facepalm.

According to the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, Caprock’s dress code dictates that no students, male or female, are allowed to attend class with a shaved head. A statement released by Caprock Board of Directors Chairwoman and President Catherine M. Norton Breman reads that the dress code “was created to promote safety, uniformity, and a non-distracting environment for the school’s students.” As such, Kamryn has been ordered not to return to school until her hair grows back. When Kamryn’s parents received a letter from the school informing them of their decision, her mother took to Facebook with it — which has, rightly so, prompted a huge social media firestorm.

Not unlike the recent incident involving Grayson Bruce’s My Little Pony bag, this is another case of a school missing a huge teaching opportunity. As another Grand Junction mother, Corrina Shirley, said to NKKCO News 11, “She didn’t shave her head to be part of a gang or a rebel. She shaved her head to show her friend that she wasn’t alone.” Acceptance, compassion, support, helping someone out in a time of trouble: These are the kinds of lessons we need to be teaching kids in addition to the reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic they learn in the classroom. So why on earth aren’t the opportunities to do so being seized when they present themselves?

Grayson Bruce’s tale has a happy ending — his school decided to allow him to carry the bag after all, in addition to helping Grayson reintegrate into the school, which he was pulled out of after the incident — so hopefully the folks behind Caprock Academy will follow suit. The statement released by Norton Breman did note that exceptions to the policy may be made “under exigent and extraordinary circumstances”; as such, Kamryn has been allowed back to school for the time being, and the charter school’s board of directors have called a closed-session meeting this evening to discuss the issue. If anything falls under the heading of extraordinary circumstances, Kamryn’s support of Delaney is it.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve got my fingers crossed — and am wishing Delaney a speedy path to remission.

Image: NKKCO News