A 16-year-old boy made the decision to grow out his hair in support of his younger sister, who had recently been diagnosed with a rare illness that caused her hair to fall out. However, as a result of growing his hair out, he was allegedly told that he could not come back to school until he cut off his long locks, according to KABB.
Newt Johnson had started growing out his hair after his 11-year-old sister, Maggie, was diagnosed with Granulomatosis with polyangiitis, a rare autoimmune disease. The illness causes inflammation of blood vessels in the nose, sinuses, throat, lungs, and kidneys, according to the Mayo Clinic.
To treat the illness, Maggie has had to undergo chemotherapy and dialysis, she told KABB. And as a result of her treatment, Maggie was told she may lose her hair.
That’s when Newt decided to grow out his hair, in an attempt to make a wig for his sister. “It made me feel good that I could do something for her,” he told the news outlet. In order to make a donation to Locks of Love, Newt had to grow out his hair between eight to 14 inches, though that length violated his school’s handbook.
Big Brother Opts for Homeschooling After School Tried to Force Him to Cut the Hair He Was Growing Out for Sick Sister
He admitted that because he was already worried about his little sister, the additional fight with his school really stressed him out. “I don’t understand why he has to get in trouble for doing this for me,” Maggie told KABB.
After allegedly being given the ultimatum by his principal, Newt spoke to his parents and they decided to withdraw him from the school and homeschool him instead. The school’s Superintendent Paula Renken told CNN that Newt was asked to cut his locks before the holiday break in December and he was given until January 21 to do so.
She also told the outlet that Newt wouldn’t have been kicked out of school if he didn’t cut his hair, but he would have been given either an in-school suspension or an after-school detention. “It was never about not supporting a sick child,” Renken told the outlet.
Newt, however, remains committed to growing out his hair to help his sister. “Listen to your kids,” his dad Alan Johnson told KABB. “If they really believe in something, even if it does go against the rules, sometimes you just have to dig deep, see if it’s really worth it or not. It’s worth it.”
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.
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