Student Banned for Shaving Head in Support of Cancer-Stricken Friend Sparks National Backlash

Officials say a shaven head violates the school’s dress code policy. A special meeting is scheduled for this evening to discuss the issue. Should an exception be made?

Kamryn Renfro, left, shaved her head in support of friend Delaney Clements, currently battling cancer and undergoing chemotherapy. Credit: Jamie Olson Renfro | Facebook pho
Kamryn Renfro, left, shaved her head in support of friend Delaney Clements, currently battling cancer and undergoing chemotherapy. Credit: Jamie Olson Renfro | Facebook pho

When nine-year-old Kamryn Renfro decided to shave her head in support of friend Delaney -- who’s undergoing chemotherapy as she battles childhood cancer -- her parents were more than supportive.

But her school? Not so much.

Administrators at Caprock Academy in Grand Junction, CO told the student she could not come to class with a shaved head because it violated the school’s dress code policy. Kamryn was asked to wear a wig or return to school when her natural hair had grown out. 

"It felt like the right thing to do," Kamryn told 9News.com, of her decision to support 11-year-old Delaney Clements.

"I was really excited I would have somebody to support me and I wouldn't be alone with people always laughing at me, Delaney shared with Denver station KDVR. “ I would at least have somebody to go through it all.”

When news of the story went viral, the school reconsidered and allowed Delaney to return to class today. The families have seen an outpouring of support and thanked everyone on their Facebook page.

“She didn't shave her head to be a part of a gang or a rebel," Corrina Shirley, a mother of two from Grand Junction, told KKCO. "She shaved her head to show her friend that she wasn't alone."

This evening, the school's board of directors will meet for a closed-door meeting to discuss this situation, the current policy and whether to grant an exception. The board is expected to take a public vote.

In a statement announcing the special meeting, board President Catherine M. Norton Breman said the dress code's shaved head ban was "created to promote safety, uniformity, and a non-distracting environment for the school's students," but added that exceptions may be made "under exigent and extraordinary circumstances," The (Grand Junction) Daily Sentinel reported.

What do you think? Should the school make an exception and allow Kamryn to sport her bald head at school in support of ? Would you support your child in a similar act of solidarity?
Chic Jolie March 27, 2014 at 11:22 AM
This story is sad and in-powering the at same time. It shows how insensitive and bureaucratic our school system could be. This little girl understanding of life and courage are astonishing...
Maria Houser Conzemius March 29, 2014 at 02:40 PM
Obviously, administrators this insensitive and this incurious should be fired. Their offense in sending this little girl home for showing solidarity with her friend with cancer who had lost her hair is not a trivial one. Anyone who thinks that administrators this callous and this cruel should be given a second chance is wrong. Public education is bad enough without making it worse by keeping the worst of the worst employed.
edward myers March 30, 2014 at 09:21 AM
this showcases why American schools are falling behind third world countries in levels of education it is because the people running the schools are morons, and they are willing to spend millions arguing this idiotic case clear to a federal court
Phil Brooks March 30, 2014 at 09:46 AM
Kolo, I agree wholeheartedly with your last post. BUT... I understand that, in this litigious age, it's best to follow the rules, however rigid and sometimes ridiculous they appear to be, lest the teacher, school or school board be sued. Then, after the backlash, amend the rules and otherwise let the chips fall where they may. The BUT part is that we also need people who can think on their feet and adjust to situations as they occur. This situation was an easy one--a kid supporting her friend undergoing chemo--and whomever was involved in making this decision just couldn't do that. // Given that, it appears that those making decisions, not just in Grand Junction, but in lots of places, are little more than gnomes or automatons. So I can understand the desire for some to want to have such people fired. And I certainly understand your thoughts; given the current situation, they're absolutely correct. What we need is some sort of middle ground.


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