When a kindergarten teacher found out her student was being bullied because of her short haircut, she came up with a sweet way to show her support — by getting a matching ‘do!
Last year, Priscilla Perez — a student at Meador Elementary School in Willis, Texas — endured teasing from other students who called her a “boy” because of her short pixie hairstyle. The hurtful comments often left the 5-year-old in tears.
“I would cry because I would think school was not fun,” Priscilla told local news outlet KTRK.
Her teacher, Shannon Grimm, soon noticed that Priscilla was becoming more withdrawn because of the bullying, and the young girl even began to wear a hat to class to cover her hair.
“[Her] friends started to call her a boy, and those words cut deep,” Grimm told the news station. “Anytime I would put my arm around to help her with her work she would get stiff and nervous.”
While thinking of a way she could bring some confidence back to Priscilla — and hopefully teach her other students a valuable lesson — Grimm decided over winter break to make a drastic change to her own appearance by chopping off her locks.
She revealed the new pixie cut in a Facebook Live video in December.
“So, I did something today. I cut my hair today, I cut it all off,” she explained in the video. “I have one of my friends in my classroom that has really short hair and it’s not her fault, she wanted long hair, she wants long hair, but there were some reasons why she had to get her hair cut.”
“She’s been really sad and depressed at school because friends think that she looks like a boy,” Grimm continued in the video. “That is exactly why I cut my hair. My students in my classroom are like my children, I love them so much, and when they come to school upset and sad because of the way they look, that destroys me.”
Grimm said that the first thing her young son said after seeing her new hairstyle was that she looked like a boy, and it reinforced her decision to prove to other kids that short hair is not exclusive to any sex.
Priscilla felt renewed confidence in her appearance after her teacher returned to school with the matching pixie cut, a post on the school district’s Facebook page says. On February 11, Priscilla was awarded the Student of the Month Award for her courage, and the young girl even surprised Grimm with a medal for “being her hero.”
“It doesn’t matter what haircut you have,” Grimm told WREG about the lesson she hopes people take away from their story. “You’re beautiful no matter what.”