Boys shares friend’s haircut to stand up against bullies
HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — When Hammond fifth-grader Sean Greenleaf saw his friend getting bullied because of his haircut, he couldn’t just stand by and watch.
Instead, the 11-year-old student took action into his own hands, switching around a hairy situation with a pair of clippers.
Yolanda Bracey, principal at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School in Hammond, said Greenleaf witnessed another fifth-grader being bullied at recess because of his new buzz cut.
What happened the next day moved Bracey to tears.
“What did Sean do? He went home (that) night and had his haircut in the exact same style as his classmate who was being teased,” Bracey said. “I couldn’t believe it, it was the most selfless thing ever.”
Lisa Greenleaf, Sean’s mother, said her son asked her that night if he could get his hair buzzed short to support his friend, Kayleb DeLeon.
“He went into the lunch room and Kayleb said, ‘You really did it!’” Lisa Greenleaf said. “And Sean said, ‘Of course, I did. I don’t know what the big deal is.’ I am very proud of him and happy to let him do that.”
When asked about standing up for a fellow fifth-grader, Sean said he never second-guessed his plan.
“Well, to be truthful I don’t want to see my friend get bullied. I wasn’t just going to watch my friend get called ‘Caillou,’” Sean said, making a reference to a bald cartoon character. “It’s stopped the bullying and I’m proud I did something good. Ever since I did it no one has been bullied.”
Gabriela Mata, Kayleb’s mother, said it certainly made an impact on her son.
“At first he said he felt bad in case Sean gets bullied too, but then he said he was glad Sean had his back,” Mata said. “That’s what he kept saying, Sean had his back.”
“It felt great,” Kayleb, 10, said. “It was awesome he did that; I’m so happy.”
Sean was presented the Principal’s Award and given special recognition in the school’s Choosing Kind program.
“Me and my husband are so blessed, he has such a big heart,” Lisa Greenleaf said. “Like his teacher said, that’s something you can’t teach.”
Bracey said she hopes to see a ripple effect of kindness from his peers.
“I don’t know if he’ll ever understand the impact he had on others, students and even teachers,” Bracey said. “And he did it without thinking.”
Source: The (Northwest Indiana) Times
Information from: The Times, http://www.nwitimes.com