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This Principal Shaved His Head to Support Bullied Student, Shows Us What Solidarity Is

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Bullying is never OK, which is why one principal made a big statement to the kids who bullied a 6th grade boy at the school he works at, Pekin Middle School in Packwood, Iowa. 11-year-old Jackson Johnston shaved his head in support of his grandfather who has cancer, which is a supremely kind thing for anyone to do, let alone an 11-year-old. Sadly, this is why some of his classmates bulled him.

As a way to teach the student body that bullying is not acceptable, principal Tim Hadley held a special assembly this past Tuesday. This is when he asked Jackson to shave his own head, as a way to show solidarity. Watch the video below to see:

Hadly told KCCI why he chose to discipline the bullies this way:

“We can handle this a couple different ways. We can bring in the kids responsible, we can pull out the handbook and swat them with it, or we can choose to make this a life lesson.”

In the clip, Hadly said:

“I heard that a couple people in this room made some comments to [Jackson], maybe kind of poking fun at him cause it looks a little different. That doesn’t sit right with me. The lesson here is this: If you truly believe in something, stand up for it even if it’s different.”

After the event, Hadly mentioned that Jackson received apologies afterwards, which illustrates that open communication makes a huge difference–and sometimes more of a difference than the typical punishment kids receive. How can kids learn if they’re never really given the chance? Hadly explained:

“Some of the kids who said something Monday found out that it upset Jackson through this event and apologized. I never addressed any of them individually, they chose to apologize.”

Hadley told The Huffington Post that other students also shaved their heads in support after the assembly:

“It has opened up a huge line of communication with students sharing their own struggles and life battles. To be honest, I am a bit overwhelmed. It has been truly humbling to see how many people this simple act has impacted.”

Well said.


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