IMPORTANT UPDATE: Yesterday, I spoke directly with this child's father as well as the school district. I can now assure you that the matter is being resolved in the best interest of the seven-year-old student, Owen Dean. The elementary school and Owen's parents are working together to ensure that Owen is comfortable, and the school district is open to working with Alopecia World to promote alopecia awareness in an effort to decrease the likelihood that children like Owen will be teased due to a physical or medical condition. We will provide updates on the progress of these matters. For now, however, we ask that all members and supporters of Alopecia World refrain from contacting the school or school district about these matters.

With great appreciation,

richard jones (rj)
Co-founder, Alopecia World


Parents say school district forced seven-year-old with alopecia areata to shave his patchy hair to keep it from being a distraction!

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Wow this sickens me... the address, email, and phone number have been provided- LETS TAKE ACTION... rather than post here, send an email, letter or phone call.
This is appalling.........how can the school get away with such insensitive action. They are not only responsible for the educational welfare of the pupils but the psychological needs of them also. Their action of setting this young lad out from the rest of the school and not stopping the bullying, send a message out the other students, that this behaviour is ok.
I live in the UK this would not be allowed, individual schools have only got limited say, it would be down to the education department , saying that I would not be surprised if this happened anywhere, as people are so insensitive.
I will be emailing the school voicing my discuss, which I hope others will do.
I am disgusted by the schools attitude to Own and his two conditions. This is total discrimnation the school will allow baldness which can cause name calling yet when he had a few strands of hair was no problem to his peers who after all is what the school is about.
If the school has an anti-bulling policy I would advise the parents to use this policy as a stepping stone to having their son obtain his rights as a pupil in this school. If there is no anti-bullying policy I would advise that the parents council would put one in place immediately so that in the future other children being bullied will have some proection.

I was deeply concerend when I heard that Owen was not allowed to wear a hat, this concerend me for a couple of reasons, sun stroke and pneumonia. For example I live in Ireland and it can get to minus temperatures here, I have to wear a hat even inside as everyone knows you lose heat through the top of your head.
RJ, thanks for informing us about Owen Dean. It is our responsibility to act, by contacting the school district through email, letters and/or phone calls to let them know that Owen has a "voice" through us. Let's do it!
I am in complete shock from this. I underwent a similar experience when I was in school, but it was taken care of before anything came of it.

I intend to send a letter to the school district because this is apalling.

What a strong young man, to be able to overcome this. He is quite an inspiration.
This is sad. are they even aloud to make that kind of choice for a child. why didn't the parents do something about this??
This is a total outrage! Surely there is something in the ADA that would support this child's use of head covering of sorts. I have already spoken to my daughters school as soon as she was diagnosed to make sure certain headcoverings would be allowed and they have been co operative thus far, although she has not yet lost all of her hair. If there were to be be any backlash what so ever I would definately go to parents advocacy groups, news, all papers, senator, etc. It might also help this family to send awareness letters to all families in the district, get NAAF involved etc. We should all send letters to this school, I know I will.
Wow! As a mom with a 12 year old who has had to come to terms with being bald this year, this makes me soooo mad! We were so fortunate that our school let my daughter call the shots on head coverings, who/how to tell people, etc.. I do not know even now (she wears a wig) if I had to make her shave the little scraps of hair left off how she would handle it. We also have gotten my daughter some counseling which has made a tremendous difference in her ability to not let AA become who she is but rather a piece of her. I would strongly recommend seeking counceling to help him with the friend situation and his self esteem. I am also not one to say this and I think I have only suggested it one other time in my life to someone, I would seek the advice of a good lawyer. I do not think the school system can make you do this. You are in my thoughts and prayers. you are not alone.

kelly
This sickens me. My daughter lost her hair just as she was entering 6th grade this year, and I'm just so relieved that the school and her classmates have been supportive of her. She's elected to wear a wig, but the school was prepared to make exceptions to the rules to allow for a hat or scarf so long as we worked with them on the style (so it wasn't disruptive or look like a gang thing) if that's what would work best for her. I got nothing but support from the teachers and administration, and amazingly she got nothing but support from her peers. When I hear that other schools take a position with other kids that makes a bad situation for them even worse it infuriates me, because it just doesn't have to be that way.
This is interesting... I emailed the district with my feedback and position as a parent, and here is the response:

Please be aware that the school district did not require this child to shave his head, nor would we require anyone with a medical condition that causes him or her to be unable to abide by our dress code to take such drastic action. Instead, we would welcome a conversation with this parent and would walk them through a process by which to obtain a waiver of our dress code- which is something we do frequently for others who have religious, racial or cultural reasons that prevent them from following our dress code. This story was not grounded in truth. The parent who chose to contact the media with this allegation has made no effort to contact the school regarding this issue and instead chose to go to the media with a concern that we would have gladly tried to work with the family to address. We have many children in our district who have a waiver in place that allows them to circumvent our dress code policy. I can't begin to understand what a family whose child is facing this (or any long term illness) must go through, but I do know that our district would not presume to make a policy so inflexible that we aren't allowed to bend with the situation warrants. I would welcome a phone call from you to discuss this further, my number is included below.
THAT IS HORRIBLE THEY SHOULDNT MAKE HIM DO THAT OOOHH IF THEY EVER TRIED SOMETHING LIKE THAT WITH MY SON I WOULD MAKE A VERY BIG DEAL ABOUT IT AND I WOULDNT DO IT. WHAT LITTLE HAIR GROWS IN AND SPECIAL AND I DONT SEE WHY THEY TOOK THAT LITTLE BIT OF SPECIAL HOPE AWAY MY HEART GOES OUT TO HIS FAMILY AND MY ANGER AND DISGUST GO TO THE DISTRICT
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Yesterday, I spoke directly with this child's father as well as the school district. I can now assure you that the matter is being resolved in the best interest of the seven-year-old student, Owen Dean. The elementary school and Owen's parents are working together to ensure that Owen is comfortable, and the school district is open to working with Alopecia World to promote alopecia awareness in an effort to decrease the likelihood that children like Owen will be teased due to a physical or medical condition. We will provide updates on the progress of these matters. For now, however, we ask that all members and supporters of Alopecia World refrain from contacting the school or school district about these matters.

With great appreciation,

richard jones (rj)
Co-founder, Alopecia World

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