A 15-year-old cancer survivor from Iowa started an intense fight with her high school after trying to punish her for wearing a hat to hide her hair loss. The school had a strict policy against any kind of headwear, and asked her to wear a wig instead. However, the girl explained how a wig was perturbing her activity and couldn’t do that.
The girl was hiding her hair loss with a hat
Chloe Terpenning managed to beat cancer, but chemotherapy left her with a bald head. She had to cope with a lot of bullying because of her growing hair, so she decided to get a transfer to West Burlington High School. However, the ordeal was far from over.
The girl used to cover her hair loss with hats and hoods, but she clashed with the high school’s policy on headwear. They banned any kind of accessory which was meant to cover a student’s head. Therefore, as soon as she was seen wearing a hat, she was sent to the principal’s office.
The high school principal wanted to make her wear a wig
Terpenning explained that she was hiding her cancer-related hair loss, hoping the principal would understand. However, she was asked to replace the hats with a wig. The girl couldn’t wear a wig, since it prevented her natural hair from growing, gave her headaches, and disturbed her activity during gym class.
The high school officials weren’t understanding of the girl’s problem, and said she should start getting used to her hair loss, and to her currently short hair. This was regarded as outrageous by Terpenning’s family, who thought the girl should feel comfortable at school. The officials finally let her wear a bandanna until Christmas but, after the break, she is expected to either wear a wig or expose her hair loss.
Therefore, Terpenning started a petition which seeks to change the high school’s policy. So far, she has gathered 222 physical signatures, and 103 in an online format. This came to the attention of the district superintendent, who said that every student should feel comfortable and wear whatever suits them.
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