‘Great leader’: Principal fixes haircut of student who refused to go to class on first day of school

U.S. & World

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WJW) — Instead of sending home a student who got in trouble on his first day of school for refusing to take off his hat, an Indianapolis principal cut his hair instead.

A school resource officer shared the photo on Facebook last week, and it’s since gone viral.

On Feb. 18, a student refused to take off his hat and go to class, so he was sent to the principal’s office, according to the post made by officer Lewis Speaks Sr.

The student told his principal he’d just gotten his hair cut but didn’t like how he looked.

Speaks wrote in his post: “Instead of putting the child out of school, this is what our principal Mr. Jason Smith did after he had a long talk with the student. And guess what happen(ed) after that…..the student thanked the principal, apologized for his behavior then went to class.”

A photo shows Smith cutting the student’s hair.

“The principal could have easily called the child’s parent and put him out of school for the day, but he took time out of his busy schedule to make sure the student was successful completing his first day of school,” Speaks wrote.

Smith told WRTV that he has been cutting hair most of his life. He cut the hair of basketball teammates in college as well as his son’s for the past 17 years. After the student was sent to his office, he ran home to get his professional clippers.

In his post, Speaks wrote that during the previous week, another student was having a challenging time at school and said he hated coming to school without a haircut.

Speaks mentioned it to a barber friend, La Don Allen, who left his shop to cut the student’s hair.

Speaks wrote: “These two didn’t do these wonderful gestures for any accolades. They did it because they understand the concept of leadership. A GREAT LEADER ALWAYS recognizes that sometimes it’s necessary to step outside of your comfort zone and daily routine to set others up for success. Thank you Jason and La Don for your selfless service to our community.”

Speaks told WJW that since both incidents, both students have regularly stopped to talk to him and Smith every day. He also said Smith and Allen agreed to try to give free haircuts at least once a month.

Speaks’ post has gotten over 52,000 reactions, and it’s been shared over 26,000 times.

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