Principal Raises Self-Esteem with a Haircut

When Middle School Principal Jason Smith noticed one of his students wearing a hat in violation of the school’s dress code and feeling down, he started asking questions. Walking over to talk to the student, Anthony Moore, Principal Smith soon discovered why Anthony was upset.

“He didn’t say straight out, but I feel like he didn’t want to be laughed at,” Smith told CNN.

After about 30 minutes, Anthony opened up and informed Principal Smith, he was embarrassed by his bad haircut he’d recently received.

Smith noted, “The barbershop and hair cuts as Black males is very important in the community and looking your best and being sharp, it’s just a cultural aspect.”

Understanding the peer pressure Anthony was facing, instead of dismissing his concerns and handing out punishment for violating the school dress code, Smith decided to fix the haircut.

An amateur barber, Smith’s been cutting hair since he was a teen. Initially hesitant to have “just anybody” cutting his hair after his previous bad barbershop experience, Anthony relented after Smith showed evidence that he knew what he was doing.

Braving a winter snow storm in Indianapolis, Smith returned home, got his clippers, and gave Anthony a fresh haircut. Pleased enough with the results, Anthony removed his hat, returned to class, and finished the school day in good spirits.

Anthony’s mother, who’d okayed the impromptu haircut, was grateful that Smith had decided to forgo suspension and instead give her son a haircut to lift his self-esteem.

“All behavior is communication and when a student is struggling, we need to ask ourselves, ‘What happened to this child?’ instead of ‘What’s wrong with the child?’ Smith told CNN. “‘What need is the child trying to get met?’ And really, the future of urban education rests on that question.”

Source: People Magazine