Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Hair For Hope - A Bald Controversy

Update 7 Aug 2013: No wigs for Hair for Hope St Margaret's girls


http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/straitstimes.com/files/20130807/28790996e.jpg

The five St Margaret's Secondary School girls who shaved their heads in support of the Hair for Hope campaign will not have to wear wigs, said Education Minister Heng Swee Keat on Wednesday.

The minister, in a Facebook post, said that he had spoken to the school's principal, Mrs Marion Tan, about the matter.

He also said that it was reasonable to ask if and how exceptions can be made under special circumstances, adding that Mrs Tan, on her part, has also reflected on her decision.

read more

On The Matter Of Principle

It's a sad day when a principal of a school has to buckle under pressure. Then again, they don't hand out national day awards for sticking to your principles.

It was Education Minister Heng Swee Keat who used his Facebook account to announce the U-turn deal. Nobody knows if there were any midnight telephone calls to "pass the message along". While noting that the school was trying to teach how commitments are supposed to be honoured, he wrote "... there is a learning moment in every situation, in every situation we make, in every promise we pledge." And what exactly is the minister trying to teach, that it's okay to go back on your word?

Youngsters should not be roped into political causes, unless they plan to be groomed as politicians with malleable principles.

read more



Hair for Hope is Children's Cancer Foundation signature fundraising event - the only head-shaving event in Singapore that serves to raise funds and awareness of childhood cancer.

Every shaven head in Hair for Hope represents the understanding by an individual of the ordeals that a child with cancer is subjected to. By volunteering to shave, shavees become CCF ambassadors in helping to raise awareness of childhood cancer among their family and friends. It also provides an opportunity to garner support from the public in the form of donations.

Hair for Hope is in its 11th year running this 2013

read more

3 girls who shaved head bald for charity told to wear wigs in school by principal



Cherry Wong (left) and Leia Lai, both 15, took part in last Saturday’s Hair for Hope event to raise funds for the Children’s Cancer Foundation, but were reprimanded for not wearing a wig to school as promised. They got rashes after being made to wear one and have since been exempted. -- ST PHOTO: ASHLEIGH SIM 

When 15-year-old Leia Lai and two of her classmates went back to school on Monday, they sported a new look - bald.

The three St Margaret's Secondary School students had cut their hair to raise funds for a cancer charity.

But this drew the ire of their principal, as they had not donned wigs, as they had promised earlier.

read more

Girls' bald move a no-go at school

When 15-year-old Leia Lai and two of her classmates went back to school on Monday, they sported a new look - bald

The three St Margaret's Secondary School students had cut their hair to raise funds for a cancer charity.
But this drew the ire of their principal, as they had not donned wigs, as they had promised earlier.

The school's rules do not allow "punk, unfeminine or sloppy hairstyles". Said principal Marion Tan: "It's very clear in our mission: it's about their turnout as a young lady."

read more

Girls who shaved heads told to wear wigs: MOE comments

The Ministry of Education says it provides schools with a set of guidelines in the management of school discipline. But within this set of guidelines, schools may formulate their own rules based on their school's context and needs.

The MOE was responding to queries from Channel NewsAsia about five girls from St Margaret's Secondary School who had their heads shaven in support of the Hair for Hope charity event last Saturday.

Three of them had turned up in school bald, even though they had promised their principal to wear wigs, while the other two kept their promise.

read more

Singapore Students Get In Trouble For Not Wearing Wigs After Shaving Heads For Charity

Three female Singaporean high school students who shaved their heads for charity got in trouble for being bald and were told to wear wigs.

The students, who attend St. Margaret’s Secondary School, shaved their heads last weekend to raise money for the Children’s Cancer Foundation, according to Singaporean outlet The Straits Times. However, when they arrived for classes on Monday, they were punished by the school’s principal for violating a ban on "punk, unfeminine or sloppy hairstyles."

The girls previously promised the principal they would wear wigs after participating in the charity event, reports Channel NewsAsia. Two other girls who also got their heads shaved wore wigs to school and did not get in trouble.


read more

Who says bald girls are bad girls?

Dear Ms Marion Tan, principal of St Margaret's Secondary School, I am offended by your recent decree that students in your school who shaved their heads for charity must wear wigs.

As a woman who has chosen to wear a buzz cut with pride, I take particular umbrage over a piece of your flawed logic that The Straits Times quoted last Friday:

"Can you imagine if I were to say yes, I'd have everybody coming to school with a bald head. Sometimes it's a fad, so they would take advantage of the situation."

read more

Singaporeans slam St Margaret Secondary School principal for imposing wig rule on bald students

A lady posing beside a Hair for Hope banner with her shaved head. (Hair for Hope Facebook photo)

Singaporeans, including personalities such as local radio DJ Rosalyn Lee, have slammed the principal of St Margaret Secondary School for insisting that her students wear wigs to school after having their heads shaved at a fundraising event.

The Straits Times reported Friday that five students from the all-girls school had participated in the Hair for Hope, which was organised by the Children’s Cancer Foundation (CCF).

The event which saw “overwhelming” response from supporters as said in its Facebook post, encouraged supporters to shave their heads as a gesture to tell children with cancer that it is “OK to be bald”.

read more

A hairy issue in school

Hair for Hope

A school principal has done an unpopular thing: Made some of her girls keep their promises. Because, really, isn’t that at the bottom of the furore reported in ST today over the girls who refused to don wigs after shaving their head bald to show support for the Children’s Cancer Foundation?

The five girls got permission to go bald, promised to wear wigs at school – they didn’t. So someone went to buy them wigs.

Of course, you have people weighing in on how hiding a shorn pate under a wig defeats the purpose of publicising the cause of children with cancer. And, yes, St Margaret Secondary school principal Marion Tan was attacked for insisting on policing school rules. The school’s rules do not allow “punk, unfeminine or sloppy hairstyles”, she told ST, adding: “It’s very clear in our mission: it’s about their turnout as a young lady.”


read more

St Margaret botak girls must wear wigs



I was wondering if I should hold back and let Breakfast Network put out their article first. They often write how I feel about issues. Saves me the time and effort.

At my girl's JC, her classmate did the same and the school applauded her during assembly. She was presented as a role model. They also had rules about girls' hairdo but there was no problem.

Until she regains her former crown of glory her baldness was testimony to a greater cause.



Why are girls who shave their heads to raise funds being punished for their good intentions?

Students cover their heads after evacuating their school building during an earthquake drill at the Baclaran Elementary School Unit-1 in Paranaque city, metro Manila June 7, 2013. Earlier this month, a magnitude-5.7 quake hit Cotabato, southern Philippines, causing damage to several houses and schools and forcing many students to miss the first week of school, local media reported.
     REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco  (PHILIPPINES - Tags: EDUCATION SOCIETY)

I recognize and respect that education institutes such as St Margaret’s Secondary School will naturally have rules set in place that foster the right values and etiquette in both teenage boys and girls alike. What I found appalling was St Margaret’s Secondary School’s principal, Mrs Marion Tan’s, utter lack of context and compassion for the 3 girls who shaved their heads to raise funds for the Child’s Cancer Foundation.

These girls did not shave their heads to make a fashion statement. At an age where these girls are possibly the most physically insecure, they chose to make a societal statement on behalf of children with cancer – that it is perfectly fine to be bald.

Tell me that action is not the grace and bravery of a woman?

read more

Why The Surprise?

Singaporeans, including some public personalities, are up in hands against a school principal here in Singapore. The principal of St Margaret Secondary School insisted that 3 of her school's students had to wear wigs to school after having their heads shaved for charity.

It all started when 5 students from the all-girls school had participated in a fundraising event called "Hair for Hope". Organised by the Children's Cancer Foundation (CCF), the event encouraged supporters to shave their heads as a gesture to tell children with cancer that it is “OK to be bald”. The students asked for the school’s permission before going bald. Permission was given but not before the school made the 5 students promise to put on wigs when they return to school due to a rule stating that students are forbidden “punk, unfeminine or sloppy hairstyles”. Or in this case, no hairstyle at all.

When only 2 of the students came to school with wigs, the other were called out of class and only allowed back after buying wigs to cover their bald head.

read more

It’s not about the promise

A promise is a promise. That is the defence mounted by Mrs Marion Tan, the school principal of St Margaret Secondary School, who has insisted that the three girls who shaved their head for charity wear wigs to school.

They do not get to renege just because they have entered an unfair deal. So what if the enforcement of the school rules defeat the very purpose of “Hair for Hope”, which is to raise awareness of childhood cancer, in order to understand “the ordeals that a child with cancer is subject to”.

Bertha Henson wrote in this website earlier this morning that the principal “would have done better to keep to the issue of broken promises”.



St Margaret’s principal, listen to the girls who helped Hair for Hope

Students from Victoria Junior College posing by a Hair for Hope banner with their shaved heads. (Hair for Hope Facebook photo)
Benjamin Chiang is an enthusiast of good advertising, deep thinking, fast living and chocolate. He writes also at www.rangosteen.com. The views expressed below are his own

Peppered all over Facebook is the story of how St. Margaret's school principal, Marion Tan, suspended two students for turning up at school bald. No, the two girls were not rebels.

The clean shaven look did not come complete with metal studs, tattoos, pierced bodies and neon makeup. In fact, the girls went under the razor for the charity movement "Hair for Hope".

Hair for Hope is Children's Cancer Foundation's fundraising event. Participants part with their locks and get their friends to donate money to the cause. Now, you might be curious, why not just donate money? Why must they shave off their hair?



Principal under fire for reprimanding students



3 St Margaret’s Secondary School students who shaved their heads last weekend to raise money for the Children’s Cancer Foundation (CCF) have got into trouble with their school.

The “Hair for Hope” event organised by CCF in its 11th year running, was held on 27 and 28 July at VivoCity last week. The head-shaving event served to raise funds and awareness of childhood cancer.
The Hair for Hope website (www.hairforhope.org.sg) says:

“Every shaven head in Hair for Hope represents the understanding by an individual of the ordeals that a child with cancer is subjected to. By volunteering to shave, shavees become CCF ambassadors in helping to raise awareness of childhood cancer among their family and friends. It also provides an opportunity to garner support from the public in the form of donations.”
However, when the 3 students arrived for classes on Monday (29 Jul), they were punished by the principal for violating a ban on “punk, unfeminine or sloppy hairstyles.”


read more

Open letter to Minister for Education on the Hair for Hope incident

 

First, I would like to point out the obvious. Wearing a wig defeats the purpose of shaving your head for the cause. Secondly, it takes much more courage to appear in public without hair than with a wig, which should have factored into the Principal’s evaluation of the actions of the students. Third, surely an act of charity trumps technical compliance with rules on ladylike appearance. Fourthly, it is important that an educator be able to espouse and communicate the substantive objectives behind rules. The rule was to avoid “punk, unfeminine or sloppy hairstyles”. If it is apparent that the reason for a bald head was not a style choice but for a good cause, then the mischief the rule was intended to prevent was not a relevant consideration.

I turn now to the Principal’s ostensible justification. She had told the girls that they would need to come to school wearing wigs, and when they didn’t, she scolded them for failing to keep their promise. First, it’s not reneging on a promise when you’re simply declining to comply with the Principal’s direction (especially if the direction was misguided and, in my opinion, not justified by the school rules). In addition, the girls could have felt, having shaved their heads, that the message would be lost if they wore a wig.

Next, and most importantly, the Principal’s action in requiring them to wear a wig was flawed – she not only failed to commend them for their act of sacrifice and charity; she was also insensitive to the plight of the thousands of children who suffer from cancer, a plight which these young ladies were trying to identify with

read more 

Teacher Cannot Shave Head One! Unprofessional! Parents will make noise



Simple question: Can a teacher shave her head as a symbol of support children with cancer? Yes, but no.

I’ve heard this story from two different teachers in two different schools on two separate occasions- both young female teachers who are passionate and socially conscious individuals who wanted to shave their heads for the Hair For Hope programme, which is organized by the Children’s Cancer Foundation.

It’s since grown to the thousands, with hundreds of women shaving their heads as well. (This is somehow a noteworthy fact,  because we assume that women either aren’t supposed to be bald, won’t want to be, or shouldn’t be allowed to be.)

read more

3 girls who shaved head bald for charity told to wear wigs

1. Why must the school principle make them promise such things?

2. Is bald - PUNK? SLOPPY? and who is to say what is "Unfeminine"?

3. Even if said that they broke the rules of "Unfeminine" hairstyle, you can't have an excuse since it is for good cause? Example: I am sure school rules state that you must wear school uniform in school but what if that day your uniform got torn and the only next thing we have for her to wear is a casual t-shirt, will you punish her? send her home? make her go naked? (probably my choice.) or let her wear that damn t-shirt? Simple logic?

4. WHY, WHY did the girls agree to begin with? In the school defense is if you really promised than you SHOULD have done it else the school wouldn't have let you shave and the article header will probably be "School Principal deny student from doing charity." And in this scenario the girls made no mistake.

read more

3 GIRLS WENT BALD FOR CHARITY, PRINCIPAL TOLD THEM TO WEAR WIGS IN SCHOOL

Three students who had shaved their heads for charity last Saturday for Hair for Hope have been told off by their school for not wearing a wig to school.

Leia Lai, 15, and 2 other classmates from St Margaret's Secondary School had gone bald for Charity and had previously agreed to wear wigs to school.

When they arrived at school on Monday, they had not worn wigs and gotten in trouble as a result. They have since been exempt from wearing wigs as they had gotten rashes from the wigs.

read more

3 girls who shaved head bald for charity told to wear wigs

St. Margaret's Secondary School's rules do not allow "punk, unfeminine or sloppy hairstyles". Said principal Marion Tan: "It's very clear in our mission: it's about their turnout as a young lady."Get the full story from The Straits Times.



PropertyGuru raises over $30,000 with charity head shave

PropertyGuru, Asia's leading property portal, raised over S$30,000 in donations for the Children's Cancer Foundation at a charity event on 18 July.

Hair for Hope 2013 saw 40 people including company staff, real estate agents and some members of the public, shave their heads for charity. Of the total amount raised, S$15,000 was collected as staff members participated in bidding to shave each other's heads.

"It's a small sacrifice to have no hair for a few months. I'll probably wear a different coloured wig every day, or have a PropertyGuru tattoo," said Steve Melhuish, PropertyGuru's co-founder and Group CEO, whose hair was shaved by an employee for S$1,000.

read more