January 29, 2012

School Suspends Cancer Survivor Student After He Attempts To Grow Hair For Locks Of Love Charity

J.T. Gaskins Locks Of Love Petition

Burton, Michigan (The Weekly Vice) - J.T. Gaskins, a 17-year-old cancer survivor who decided to donate his hair to Locks of Love, has been honored by his school for his selfless compassion for others who are now battling cancer and other illnesses.

That should be the headline at the top of this article, but unfortunately it isn't.

The school Gaskins attends, Madison Academy in Burton Michigan, promptly suspended the student after learning about his plans.

Gaskins, who is a leukemia survivor, decided to grow his hair long and donate locks of hair to charity after learning about a family friend who is now battling cancer.

Locks of Love in a non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children who have lost their hair while battling illnesses like cancer. Their mission, as stated on their website, is to return a sense of self confidence and normalcy to children who suffer hair loss as a result of their treatment.

"This is something I want to do and I feel very strongly about it," said Gaskins, who was diagnosed with leukemia as an infant and has now been cancer free for seven years.

School administrators, however, state that long hair on boys is a violation of school policy. The school's governing body voted on Monday to suspend Gaskins after determining that he was in violation of the school's policy.

Gaskins' mother supports her son's fight to donate his hair and has started an online petition which she plans to present to the school board.

The petition has attracted more than 3,100 signatures so far - arguing that male students should have the ability to grow and donate their hair just like female students can. She is asking the school to amend its policy so that exception can be made for students who wish to donate to organizations like Locks of Love.

Now that the media has picked up the story, school superintendent Will Kneer has stated that the school board MAY look at the issue to see if a possible revision to the rule can be made.

Gaskins, however, has stated that he will refuse to cut his hair until he has made his donation - with or without the school's permission.

The Weekly Vice Opinion:

We're proud of you J.T. for taking a stand on this issue, despite the robotic, narrow minded views of school administrators who teach tolerance in their lesson plans, but fail at every opportunity to practice what they preach.

We would like to invite our readers to sign Mr. Gaskin's petition - since this particular school board obviously needs a lesson in humanities.

Danny Vice
The Weekly Vice

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