School Suspends Teen for Cancer Fundraiser


razor_blades__5_cropI cannot possibly begin to imagine what it must be like to be a teenager whose father is dying from cancer.  I don’t know how a teenager could possibly deal with that — most teens have enough trouble just dealing with puberty and school and learning to drive and so on.  Fifteen-year-old Emily Pridham decided to shave her head to raise money for cancer research and to show support for other cancer patients.  “Basically my way of coping is to try and help other people going through the same thing,” she said.  So what could possibly be wrong with that?

Apparently, it means she is in violation of the dress code of her school, Mount Alvernia College in Brisbane, Australia.  She has been suspended and will not be allowed to return until her hair grows back.  The school released a statement noting that Emily had been suspended due to the dress code violation and because of “ongoing issues”.  Truth be told, I’d be more worried about a fifteen-year-old whose father had just months to live if she didn’t have ongoing issues.

Her mother, Barbara Pridham, isn’t too happy about the situation either.  “I am just appalled that she could be suspended by a Catholic school that promotes joy, respect and community spirit,” she said.  I have to say that appalled is exactly the right word for how I feel about a school that would suspend a student in this situation.  I wonder if they would also suspend a student whose hair loss came from having cancer herself?

There is a facebook group set up to support Emily and her family.

Photo: Alvimann