A young boy named Joe, 8, walked to school with his hair in a ponytail. As he entered the classroom, he could hear laughter coming from his classmates.They all found his long hair a reason to mock him. That broke Joe’s heart, especially because he was growing his hair for a reason. What affected this boy the most was that the mockery started from his teacher, Mr. Cooper, a man of conservative values. He was the one who encouraged the kids to make fun of Joe’s hair!
The teasing continued in the days that followed and Joe’s parents could see the change in their son’s eyes. He cried a lot and didn’t want to tell them what was bothering him. The school’s art teacher, Mrs. Burns, who was somewhat new at the school, noticed Joe crying in the bathroom one day. She approached him and encouraged him to tell her what bothered him that much.It was then that Joe shared his heartbreak and explained that he gets teased every single day.
“You have a beautiful heart. Don’t ever let anyone else change that, okay?” she told him. At that moment, Joe uttered, “But even Mr. Cooper makes fun of me. It’s not fair.” His tears had finally stopped, thanks to her kindness. “Some people will always be bullies even when they grow up. I’ll try to talk to him,” Mrs. Burns replied, patting his shoulder.
“Don’t tell him why. He doesn’t deserve to know anything. This is my thing,” Joe requested, looking at the teacher with his earnest eyes. “Of course. This will be between you and me. But what you are doing is nothing to be ashamed of,” the teacher assured him. “Still. I don’t want them to know,” the little boy insisted, to which Mrs. Burns nodded with a slight grin.
Over the course of the next couple of days, Mrs. Burns brought the subject of Joe’s hair with other teachers and it looked like most of them didn’t approve of it. One of them, Mrs. Figgins, said, “If he’s allowed to grow his hair out at eight years old, he’s going to become a hoodlum in high school. Kids, especially boys, need discipline at this age.”
As she knew she needed to do something about Joe’s condition, Mrs. Burns decided to call Joe’s father and explain to him what was going on. Once he learned what caused his son’s unhappiness, his dad, Patrick, said, “Your teacher, Mrs. Burns, just called. She told me everything. Are the kids making fun of you? Is that why you’ve been crying every day after school?” Patrick asked as he kneeled before his son while looking straight into the boy’s eyes.
“It’s not just my friends. Mr. Cooper is the worst,” Joe revealed, leaving his dad in a state of shock.Patrick knew Mr. Cooper and he looked like a nice man so his behavior towards Joe was something this dad couldn’t understand. Patrick then asked Joe why he didn’t shared with his classmates the reason why he was growing his hair. Joe said it wasn’t any of their business, and Patrick agreed.
No matter the reason, how they treated Joe was unacceptable.“You are completely right, kid. But you know something. I believe it’s time to cut that hair. You’ve finally reached the required length, and I have a plan,” Patrick said, revealing he was proud that his son reached his goal. Joe’s mother then cut her son’s hair while Patrick recorded the special moment.
When Joe arrived at school the next day, Mr. Cooper greeted him at the door, but he had no idea Patrick was there as well. “At long last, Joe!” “You no longer look like a girl!” he exclaimed to Joe. When Mr. Cooper realized Patrick was also present, he exclaimed, “Oh! Perkins, Mr.! So, you got your child’s hair cut? “Congratulations!” he said, extending his hand to shake Patrick’s.
Instead of shaking his head, Patrick pulled out his phone and showed it to the teacher who had mistreated his son. Mr. Cooper was taken aback when the video from the previous night began to play. “I understand, Mr. Cooper, that you have been encouraging the jokes about my son. “I never expected that from you, sir,” Patrick said.
“I had no idea he’d be donating his hair to cancer patients,” the teacher said shakily. “Well, okay. Joe refused to tell anyone until he had accomplished his goal. Last April, we went to a children’s hospital and did some volunteer work. He loved it and immediately began growing his hair. But this school year, he began coming home in tears because everyone, including his teacher, made fun of him.
“Do you think that’s reasonable, sir?” Joe’s father chastised the older man, who was clearly embarrassed by his actions. “I’m… sorry, Joe.” I had no idea, Mr. Perkins. My… granddaughter recently underwent several rounds of chemotherapy and lost all of her hair. “My son and daughter-in-law had communicated with this foundation that makes wigs from donations,” the teacher revealed, speaking softly and with tears in his eyes.