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Blindly Enforcing School Policy Forces Child With Skin Disease To Miss School

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shutterstock_126022004__1367765040_142.196.167.223I understand the importance of school policies being enforced, but it gets ridiculous when administrators refuse to acknowledge that some students may have special circumstances that prevent them from following procedures like everyone else.  An 8-year-old Philadelphia student with Alopecia – a disease that makes hair fall out in patches – is being told to stay home from school for violating the school’s ban on “long hair.”

The second grader was held home for the latter half of last week. Zion Williams has been under treatment at Drexel University to try and get the hair to regrow.  The treatments include shots to the head, which have been working as his hair has been starting to regrow. My Fox Philly.com reports that the mother issued a doctor’s note asking Zion be exempt from the “short hair rule” but it was rejected.

The principal initially refused to comment on the story, but has since agreed to let Zion return on Tuesday. So this child missed four days of school because a few administrators couldn’t see past a rule to accommodate a child that, for medical reasons, couldn’t follow it. That is unbelievable.

Remember the story last month about the little girl who was being held home from kindergarten because she couldn’t safely receive the chicken pox vaccination? Her infant brother had an autoimmune disease that made it dangerous to be around a sibling who had received a live-virus vaccination. I wonder how many days of school she ended up having to miss?

I know that rules and policies exist for a reason, but can we please start acting like there are human beings that have the power of critical thinking and objectivity running these schools – not a bunch of robots that blindly follow procedure without taking special circumstances into consideration? That would be a step forward.

(photo: Peshkova/ Shutterstock)