Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Update: Nine-year-old bald student has a close shave with Colorado charter school dress code

Even before last night's special meeting of the board of directors of Caprock Academy, a charter school in Grand Junction that had banned a nine-year-old girl from class on Monday because she'd shaved her head in solidarity with her best friend, an eleven-year-old undergoing chemotherapy for neuroblastoma, the school had decided to make an exception to its no-bald-heads for girls dress-code policy and allow Kamryn Renfro back at the school. Administrators were no doubt feeling major razor burn and stinging nicks from all the blowback on social media after Kamryn's story went public.

Yesterday Kamryn's mother, Jamie Renfro, Kamryn's mother, posted this on her Facebook page:

I would just like to say, from the bottom of our hearts...thank you! We never expected any of the support that we have received regarding Kamryn and Delaney. We are pleased with the decision that our school made to let Kamryn back in school today. She got up, got ready, and held her head high as she walked into her classroom this morning. To say her dad and I are proud, is a total understatement. Nate and I are so humbled from the outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and strangers.
Jamie Renfro will be on KNUS 710 AM this afternoon, speaking to Steve Kelley.

Update: Our original story posted yesterday: The story of a nine-year-old Grand Junction girl banned from attending class at a charter school after she shaved her head in solidarity with a friend with cancer has gone global -- and as a result, the Caprock Academy board of directors will hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. today to discuss the situation. Kamryn Renfro shaved her head over the weekend to show support for eleven-year-old Delaney Clements, a Grand Junction girl diagnosed in 2010 with neuroblastoma; the school's refusal to allow the bald-headed girl to attend class drew comments from around the world.

And as the comments started pouring in, the school decided to allow Kamryn back in class today.

The Grand Junction Sentinel reports that at today's closed door meeting, board members will discuss the possibility of making an exception to a school policy that prohibits both male and female students from coming to class with a shaved head. In a statement released yesterday, Caprock board chair Catherine M. Norton Breman noted that shaved heads are not allowed under the school's dress code policy, "which was created to promote safety, uniformity, and a non-distracting environment for the school's students."

More from the Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "A century and a half later, the wounds of Sand Creek are still fresh."

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun