A 15-year-old student was reportedly banned from class after shaving his head to support the Cancer Research UK charity. Supporters have since started a Twitter campaign in his honor to combat this perceived injustice.
Jackson Shallcross-Platt raised roughly $1,000 for the campaign by shearing his long locks for his three grandparents who have suffered from cancer. When he arrived at Chailey School the next day, he was punished by his headteacher Lesley Young for being rude when she spoke to him about his new haircut.
Liz Platt, Jackson’s mom, said that her son should have been praised for the stunt.
“I was very cross. Jessie J did the same thing for Comic Relief live on TV,” she said. “There are kids doing all sorts of things nowadays so they should be proud of him.”
Jackson himself said he didn’t expect to get in trouble for shaving his head. “I did not want to cause a fuss. I knew by showing up it would cause a stir but that was the whole point – to raise awareness.”
Young said that Jackson’s attitude caused her to punish him, not his cancer awareness efforts.
“I have made it very clear from the outset that I totally supported this charity.
“We always publicize this through assemblies so that everyone is aware of the context of the fundraising, details of the charity and what we are seeking to achieve and to avoid any misinterpretation by members of the school community who are closely affected by a particular condition.
“Some distress was caused yesterday when he arrived at school as his planned action was unknown by many staff and students.
“In discussion about this he was, regrettably, very rude and it was for this reason that I placed him to work on his own.”
Students and parents supported Jackson by starting a Twitter campaign with the hashtag #freejackson.
#freejackson I don’t know the kid! But if someone shaves their hair off for cancer research, then they’re a hero in my eyes, respect big man
— Jesse (@jessegassonDB) March 20, 2013
Jackson was allowed back in class yesterday after he met with Young and “apologized for his rudeness.”
Lynn Daly, a representative for Cancer Research UK said the following of the incident: “I’m sorry to hear Jackson has found himself in trouble over this but we are very grateful for the money he has raised and can assure him every penny of it will go towards helping us beat cancer sooner.”