Tim Hadley is a good guy.
He’s also the principal of a public middle school in Iowa. Being a good person and a great educator don’t always go hand in hand, but when they do, children’s lives are changed in uncounted ways.
Tim recently became aware of a situation within his school. A sixth grader at the school, a little boy named Jackson, was having some trouble with bullies.
Now, if you’ve ever spent time in a middle school, you know that social stress is one of the most predictable facets of the setting.
This time, though, the kids who were giving Jackson a hard time were some of his friends. It wasn’t a typical situation of stronger or more popular kids picking on a weaker one. This time the situation was a little more nuanced.
You see, Jackson had been watching his beloved Grandfather suffering through the effects of acute lymphoma. The boy wanted to show solidarity with the older man, so he shaved his head in support.
When he got to school, the kids started to tease him. Principal Hadley took notice.
It really struck me,. He’s just a kid. He’s already going through something with his grandpa. Stage four Lymphoma.”
The Principal spoke to his staff, then called an unplanned assembly for the students. After everyone had gathered in the gym, Principal Hadley called Jackson down to the front of the room. Handing the boy a pair of electric shears, he told him to go for it.
Tim Hadley allowed Jackson to shave his head in front of the whole school. The kids laughed and cheered.
The smiling Principal talked about the situation, and explained what had happened after Jackson had made his generous gesture out of love for his Grandfather. He told the kids:
I expect more from our students. I expect support and for us to be there for one another. Cause you know, we need each other at the end of the day.”
That’s a great teacher. Knowing how to use humor, humility and a real life experience to teach children a lesson in kindness that they will never forget.
Well done, Mr. Hadley!
One of the teachers on staff caught the whole event on video.
Featured image via YouTube Screengrab.