Teen Grows Out His Hair To Support Sick Sister, School Tells Him To Cut It

A Texas teenager withdrew from his high school after officials told him he could not return unless he cut his hair. Four months ago, Newt Johnson's 11-year-old sister, Maggie, was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.

She has been undergoing treatment, and as a result, her long curly fell out. Newt decided he wanted to support his sister, so he started to grow his hair out so that it could be fashioned into a wig for her.

Last month, the principal at Poth High School came up to Newt and told him that he needed to cut his hair. He explained that the school's dress code states that "male students' hair shall not extend beyond the ear opening on the sides nor beyond the top of a dress shirt collar in the back."

Newt refused to comply, and the following week, he was told he could not return to school until he cut his hair.

"[The principal] said, 'No, he can come back when he gets his hair cut,'" Newt's father, Alan told NBC News. "They made him leave, they knew he wasn't going to get his haircut."

When the teen failed to show up at school, authorities reported him to a truancy officer. His parents then decided to withdraw him from the school and are currently homeschooling him.

School officials defended the decision to enforce the dress code, despite Newt's altruistic reason for growing out his hair. Superintendent Paula Renken issued a statement saying the "integrity and board-approved policies are being maligned and twisted on social media."

"Principal Deaver performed his duties as he is expected to under the policies and procedures in place," Renken added.

Newt's father said that he's proud of his son for standing up for what he believes in.

"If he's got his mind made up and that's what he believes, then that's what he can do," he said. "I'm proud of him ... it's disappointing it's come to this. No one wants something like this to happen. But he loves his sister so much, he's made up his mind he's going to help her."

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