School, parents battle over boy's long hair

November 1, 2010 3:07:31 PM PDT
A 4-year-old boy, his parents, and his pre-school are battling over the school's dress code, and the boy's long hair.

His parents say his long hair was being donated to children with cancer.

The school says his long hair doesn't fit their strict dress code.

Jack Szablewski is donating his 12 inches of hair to help make a wig for a kid with Leukemia as a dedication to his grandfather, Stuart Compton.

Jack called him Pepa.

"Dad passed away, it was going to be in honor of him because he passed away before Jack got his first haircut," said Renee Szablewski, Jack's mother.

It's a sweet gesture that went sour when Jack's pre-school at St. Dominic's in Brick could no longer allow Jack to break the dress code.

Long hair is not allowed and the school gave the family all of 2009 to grow his hair, and even threw in September of this year.

But by October, the school said the hair had to go.

"When they told me I had 2 weeks, that was fine, I measured it and it was 12 inches," Renee Szablewski said.

Renee says plans were to cut it, and along with a publicity campaign to raise awareness for a bone marrow drive.

The family says bad weather forced them to cancel, and when Jack went back to school with his locks, St. Dominic's kicked him out.

"All he wanted was to be a St. Dominic's kid, now he won't be and that's a shame," said Glen Szablewski, Jack's father.

St. Dominic's released a statement saying: "It was Mrs. Szablewski's failure to uphold her agreement to have the child's hair cut after being given 13 months to do so, that has resulted in this breach in the partnership between the parents and the school and the termination of this relationship."

"My mother is buried there, we were married there, I feel like we've been put out of our home," Szablewski said.

Renee is in the process of making an appointment to finally have Jack's pony tail cut and sent off to the charity.

After that, the family will try to figure out what to do about getting him back in school.

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