Teacher Orders Terminally Ill Girl To Remove Bright Pink Wig (Photos)
It’s only a magenta wig, but it means the world to Ashanti Elliott-Smith. The bald little girl with Hutchinson-Gilford progeria has been forbidden from wearing it to school.
Due to her condition, the 11-year-old ages quicker than other children. While she’s still a child mentally, Ashanti has the physicality of an elderly woman and an expected lifespan of 15 years.
Ashanti, who also suffers from alopecia, was given a pink wig as a gift from a family friend.
The Elliott-Smith family cannot afford to cover the cost of wigs made from more traditional human hair. Because pink is the little girl’s favorite color, she happily sported the wig to school.
An Oakmeeds Community College teacher ordered her to remove the pink hair because the school was “not cold.”
Phoebe Smith, Ashanti’s mother, says the wig is a symbol of joy for the girl, who only has a short time to live. She said,
If it makes her feel beautiful then they should let her wear it… She does not have the choice of wearing [makeup] or wearing bows in her hair, so wearing a wig should be allowed.
Smith has since removed the girl from school temporarily, citing the incident as a blow on Ashanti’s already wavering self-esteem.
Colin Taylor, the college’s head teacher, says Ashanti’s teacher was taken aback because Ashanti’s never shown interest in wigs before. Taylor claims,
At no time to our knowledge did she request special consideration about head wear but we would fully understand it if Ashanti was to need a hat or indeed a wig when the weather gets cold — even indoors.
In the past other children have worn wigs following serious illness, but ones that were of a natural look — not large brightly coloured ones.
But, Smith says Ashanti will only be returning with her magenta wig intact.
Luckily, Taylor told press the school hopes to open a dialogue with the family in order to best serve Ashanti.
It’s a small happiness in Ashanti’s difficult life, which has been marred by illness and family problems.
Last year, the girl received a charity donation of over $5,600 to swim with dolphins, only to have it stolen by her father, Albi Elliott.
The man is currently serving a three-year sentence.
H/T: Metro UK