Our story today, inspired by the readers of Amomama is about a young boy. His name was Jeremy Digg. He was a compassionate little boy who lived with his mother and father in Connecticut. His family had raised him to always consider other people before acting in any way. Jeremy tried to apply this principle to just about everything he did. He never forgot to call his mom when he would be late coming home from school for fear of amusing her worry, he never bought sweets for himself if his friends didn’t have any money, and he loved giving his spare change to the homeless.
Being a happy child, his parents barely worried about him. He was well-liked at school, and always had a friend coming over for the afternoon, or he was visiting another. The teachers at his school were proud to call themselves his teacher, with his straight-A aggregate, he made their job easy.
Jeremy Changed his Hair Style
It was April, and the leaves in the trees were starting to sprout, along with blossoms that attracted the birds that had started flying in thanks to the yearly migration. Summer was nearly here. Jeremy went to school on the final day before the summer break, and he was very excited because there were so many exciting things planned for the holidays. His friends noticed that he had not cut his hair recently. This was strange to them, because he was usually so prompt with his hair appointments, preferring a neat cut than the scraggly look. Thankfully, their school did not have a dress code for their hair, and he was able to get away with it.
His friends assumed he was growing his hair for the holidays because they had planned to visit their family holiday house in Fairfield. His family was surfers after all, so the long hair seemed to fit the look. The school day ended, and the kids came pouring out of the door, elated and screaming at the top of their lungs. They were free for two months!
Jeremy had the best holiday with his parents. Their holiday house had been left to them by his grandparents and it was right on the beachfront. His dad and he would wake up at six in the morning to be in the water by 7 am, catching waves. Jeremy noticed how his hair would stick to his face as he caught the waves, but he ignored the slight irritation. Growing his hair would be worth t in the end.
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Back To School
The day came that the holidays had come to an end. Jeremy was making sure he was ready for school before the first day arrived. He looked at himself in the mirror and sighed. He had to mentally prepare himself for this semester. The first day back, everyone was staring at him. He approached the classroom which was bellowing with the chatter of his classes. As he entered, the room went quiet. He stood for a second and even glanced behind him to see if the reason they all stopped talking was there, but there was no one.
He walked to his desk, and then the whispers started. Two of the popular girls at the back of the class leaned in towards each other and they started snickering while throwing glances at Jeremy. He was confused, why were they whispering about him. Eventually, one of his mates piped out for the class to hear and made a joke to Jeremy about catching waves in the classroom. He finally understood. Jeremy had not cut his hair before school started, and it had grown so long since the holidays started that he had to keep it in a ponytail so it didn’t bother him. His classmates found this amusing.
His Teacher Joined in the Jokes
Their teacher walked in, and the snickering stopped. Mr. Walker was a stern teacher, not to be messed with. Everyone quickly got into their seats and took out their books. Mr. Walker walked up to the board and started the lesson without even greeting the class. Eventually, he turned around to ask a question, and he spotted Jeremy with his long hair. A wicked smile spread across his face, and he pointed to Jeremy, telling the class he wasn’t aware they had a new girl at the school.
The class erupted into laughter, and Jeremy protested. He shouted to Mr. Walker that it was him, Jeremy. And Mr. Walker pretended like he had not realized it was him under all that hair.
As the day went on the jokes got worse and worse. Mr. Walker thought this was a great opportunity for fun, and he would tease Jeremy for wanting to look like a girl by growing his hair so long. The next day, was the same, and for the next 2 weeks, he continued to tease the little boy.
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Art Teacher To the Rescue
Miss Morales was the art teacher who had joined the school the semester before this one. She was a friendly youthful face who loved to improve the lives of children through creativity and compassion. One day she found Jeremy hiding out in the art room during lunch, he was crying. She went over and sat down beside him. She asked why he was hiding out in the art room all alone when his friends were enjoying lunch, she reminded him that it was pizza day at the cafeteria.
Jeremy sniffled and wiped the tears from his eyes with his sleeve. He refused to go to the cafeteria. When she asked him why not, he told her they would tease him about his hair again. She was not unaware of the jokes made about his hairstyle, and she felt bad for the little boy. When she asked him why he wanted to grow his hair if it just caused him pain, he told her his reasons.
Stunned, Miss Morales was suddenly furious with Mr. Walker for leading the jokes against his hairstyle. She started saying something about telling him off, but Jeremy begged her not to say anything. She looked at him confused, but he assure her he did not want them to know.
Reasons and realizations
Later that day, Jeremy’s father came into his room after Miss Morales had phoned him up to explain what was going on. She was angry with the other teachers for not doing anything to help the boy, but she didn’t want to disrespect Jeremy’s wishes so she resolved to tell his ad instead. His father comforted him and asked why he had not told him he was being teased. Jeremy looked down at his hands, and he said he didn’t want to get into more trouble because it was Mr. Walker who was doing most of the teasing.
Jeremy’s father was furious, just as any father would be. He told his son that his hair was long enough for what he was growing it for and he would be able to cut it. They tied it up into a ponytail, and his mother snipped it off with a pair of sharp sewing scissors, while his dad filmed with his phone, narrating the entire time.
The next day, Jeremy went to school, and as he walked in, Mr. walker bellowed a joke about the boy who returned. He faltered when he realized that Jeremy’s father was right behind him. Stuttering slightly, he greeted his father. Jeremy went to his seat. His father took out his phone and went to the video they had made the night before. As Mr. Walker watched, his father explained to the class that they had done some volunteer work at the hospital before school ended last semester, and Jeremy had been so motivated by this that he decided to grow his hair for cancer patients.
The class was silent, no one had expected that, especially Mr. Walker who was wiping tears from his eyes. He walked over to Jeremy and extended his hand to shake it. Jeremy took it apprehensively. Mr. Walker explained that his niece had just undergone chemo, and he could not thank Jeremy enough for his donation because her hair had recently fallen out.
The two popular girls at the back of the class were whispering again. But this time their expressions had softened they felt bad for teasing him too. No one should be teased for their choice of style, and this classroom learned that first-hand. Mr. Walker might be an old conservative teacher, but it is never too late to teach an old dog new tricks.