Saturday, March 29, 2014

"Are You Serious?" Awards - Volume XI: The Scrappy School Edition

Oh, this week's winners are real gems!  That's right -- we have TWO winners this week, and they both involve schools.

Let's look at "WINNER" #1...

Ordinarily, schools are hungry to work with parents who are team players, especially when it comes to students with special needs.  But not this one.

No, this winner ought to get a SPECIAL award just for throwing common sense out the window.

It seems that the genius principal of Walnut Grove Elementary School thought it was wiser to call Missouri's Calverton Park Police and put the school on a 12 minute lockdown than to grant a concerned mother mercy for not having signed in at the front desk after being buzzed in to the school as a known parent.

Are you SERIOUS?!

You can learn all about Niakea Williams' ordeal over at the website

Photo Courtesy of KMOV
In my humble opinion, this poor mother was far more polite than I would have been in the same circumstances.  In fact, I think the principal should be paying for any citation that may have been issued when Ms. Williams was arrested.

Is this REALLY how a school should be interacting with a parent?

This is yet another example of zero-tolerance trumping common sense.  When a school calls a mother for an emergency or urgent situation with their child, unless that parent is causing a disruptive altercation, a principal ought to have enough sense to grant that parent some leniency.  

In this case, the principal has not only made this mother an enemy, she also traumatized an already challenged student with Asperger's Syndrome.  I don't know of any parent that would feel comfortable sending their child back into that sort of learning environment.

Please pray for Niakea Williams and her child, that they would find themselves in a much more peaceable educational environment.

 Now let's look at "WINNER" #2...

Like our first candidate, this winner ought to get special merit for the lack of common sense.  Additionally, the administration of this school ought to be give a huge piece of coal or receive a "Grinch" award for lack of compassion.

Caprock Academy in Grand Junction, CO recently suspended Kamryn Renfro for violating their dress code policy by shaving her head in support for her friend and classmate, Delaney Clements, who lost her hair during chemotherapy to treat her cancer.  

Are you SERIOUS?!

Photo courtesy of KUSA

What the school cited as their reasoning for such a measure is, "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." (per KUSA

How this translates to a parent like me is that a child with no hair is not safe, uniform or non-distracting.  My question would be, Has this school thought of how their words reflect on their thoughts about poor Delaney, who is battling cancer?

I applaud Kamryn Renfro's mother, who assumes a far more appropriate view towards her daughter's brave request to shave her head to support her friend.  This parent saw her daughter's request as an indication of inner character and compassion.

It sounds to me like Caprock's administrators could learn an awful lot from a kid like Kamryn, who will now be allowed to return to school, after all of the uproar.

To see the full story, visit KUSA 9News.  And please keep Delaney in your prayers as she fights on in her battle.

~ Barb Dittrich

*Do YOU have a nominee for a future "Are You SERIOUS?" Award?  E-mail us a link to the story with any of your own personal insights to 

1 comment:

  1. And you wonder why so many of our youth lack empathy. If they get their hand slapped when they show empathy by authority figures, what message does that send?