What started out as a kind gesture is turning into a battle over whether hair, or the lack of it, should matter in school.
KUSA - It was meant as a gesture of solidarity: a girl in Grand Junction shaved her head to support her friend, who is battling cancer. However, family members say the girl's school didn't see it that way and said it violated the dress code policy. Now, what started as a simple gesture is turning into a battle over whether hair should matter in school.
For the two girls on the playground, though, Monday afternoon was all about sharing fun in the sun and sporting matching bald heads.
"It felt like the right thing to do," Kamryn Renfro said.
With her parents' permission, Kamryn shaved her head in support of her cancer-stricken friend, 11-year-old Delaney Clements. She lost her hair because she is undergoing chemotherapy in her fight against neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer.
Delaney loved what her friend did.
"It made me feel very special and that I'm not alone," she said.
However, when Kamryn tried to go back to school at Caprock Academy in Grand Junction this week, she wasn't allowed in. Turns out, having a shaved head is a violation of the school's dress code policy. Delaney's mom, Wendy Campbell, couldn't believe it.
"I didn't realize that hair was such an important aspect of a child at school," Campbell said.
In a statement, Caprock Academy said its dress code policy is clear.
"Caprock Academy does have a detailed dress code policy, which was created to promote safety, uniformity, and a non-distracting environment for the school's students. Under this policy, shaved heads are not permitted," said Catherine Norton Breman, President and Chair of Caprock Academy Board of Directors.
Delaney and her mom are hoping the school will change its mind and make an exception.
"It makes me sad because she was really happy to go back to school and show people what she did, but now that she didn't get to, she's kind of sad," Delaney said.
"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," Campbell said.
Caprock Academy also said in their statement that sometimes exceptions can be made to the dress code policy under extraordinary circumstances.
Kamryn's mother tells 9NEWS that the school headmaster told her Kamryn will be allowed to return to school Tuesday.The school's board of directors plans to meet Tuesday evening to discuss this situation and the policy.