Texas teen kicked out of school for growing hair out to make a wig for sick sister

A Texas teenager is growing his hair to make a wig for his unwell sister.
A Texas teenager is growing his hair to make a wig for his unwell sister. Photo credit: Facebook

A US teen has had to withdraw from school after he was told he couldn't grow out his hair to make a wig for his ill sister.

Sixteen-year-old Texas high school student Newt Johnson is now being homeschooled so he can use his hair to make a wig for his younger sibling Maggie.

Maggie was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease in October 2019, which has required chemotherapy as well as other treatments and has contributed to her hair loss.

Newt wanted to give 11-year-old Maggie a replacement for her "fiery red hair" and decided to grow his out over their Christmas break.

Newt's school had allegedly given him a warning to cut it before he came back to school at the end of January, but it wasn't long enough to cut for the wig when school started back up.

He decided to keep growing it until it reached the right length and attempted to go back to school but was sent home.

The school's student handbook said male student's hair length must be above the ear on the sides and above the collar of a dress shirt at the back.

This was then confirmed to Newt's parents Alan and Jamie by Poth High School Principal Todd Deaver who said he could not return to school until he complied with school standards. 

"He said, 'No, he can come back when he gets his hair cut.'"

"They made him leave, they knew he wasn't going to get his haircut," Alan told News4SA. 

Alan told NBC News that Deaver was aware he was growing it for his sister at the time.

Newt decided that doing this for his sister was too important to him and he withdrew from school. He is now learning from home, which has put extra pressure on the family. But Alan said he is proud of his son for sticking to his morals.

"I'm proud of him ... it's disappointing it's come to this. No one wants something like this to happen. But he loves his sister so much, he's made up his mind he's going to help her," he said. 

A recently deleted Facebook post on the school's Facebook page, which is signed by the local Superintendent Paula Renkin, claimed the parents declined an offer from the principal to set up a meeting with the superintendent to discuss their dissatisfaction with the dress code.

She said that the public can have a say in issues regarding the school, including the dress code at regular board meetings. 

Some of the community has rallied around the family many people contributing to their expenses and visiting Maggie in hospital. 

In October there were donation baskets at a local American football game to raise money for Maggie.

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