PACKWOOD, Ia. (WTXF) - An 11-year-old boy wanted to be strong for his cancer-stricken grandfather, so he decided to shave his own head. But when his classmates made fun of his new hairstyle, the school’s principal took matters into his own hands.
Tim Hadley has been a principal at Pekin Middle School for the past three years. But this week, the principal taught his students an unforgettable lesson on acceptance.
After sixth grader Jackson was taunted, Principal Hadley let Jackson shave his head in front of the school.
"It really struck me," said Hadley. "He's just a kid. He's already going through something with his grandpa. Stage four Lymphoma."
According to Hadley, Jackson told his mom he wanted to shave his head in support of his grandpa on Sunday. But when he went in for school on Monday, his new 'do wasn't well-received.
That night, Jackson's mom called principal Hadley to voice her concerns.
"Some of his friends came up to him and asked, 'Hey, do you have cancer?' or 'Hey, baldy,'" Hadley said.
The school principal had an idea, and told Jackson to bring his clippers to school the next day.
On Tuesday, Hadley called a staff meeting and decided to hold an impromptu assembly. Then, Jackson was called to the front of the room and handed the clippers.
The students erupted into cheers as Jackson shaved his own principal’s head.
A staff member, Paula Pollock, was even able to capture the whole event on video.
“I expect more from our students. I expect support and for us to be there for one another,” said Principal Hadley. “Cause you know, we need each other at the end of the day.”