The West Burlington School District is now apologizing to the 15-year-old, identified only as Chloe, who is reportedly in remission after receiving chemotherapy for stage two Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Superintendent Dave Schmitt released a statement Tuesday saying he’s spoken with the principals about being thorough about student discipline, but also looking at each case individually.
“And making sure that there isn’t more to the story,” Schmitt says. “Just to ensure that we administer policy in a fair way but also take student needs into consideration.” In the statement, Schmitt said the district “apologizes to Chloe for our insensitive approach to dealing with her hair loss,” calling it “an error in judgment on our part and we regret making this mistake.”
The girl said she’d previously worn a wig to school, but decided to switch to a grey, knit hat as it worked better for activities like gym class. The district prohibits the wearing of hats and Chloe was kept from entering her classrooms several times last week and was instead sent to the high school administration office.
Schmitt says Chloe will be able to wear her hat during school. He says the school board will review the policy involving headgear.
(Thanks to Jason Parrott, Iowa Public Radio)