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The lesson from Kamryn Renfro suspension

Kamryn is the 9 year old girl who shaved her head for her friend who is being treated for cancer and has lost her hair. Kamryn was suspended from school for a dress code violation (because she shaved her head) and not reinstated until the situation blew up in social media.

So what’s the lesson for organization heads around the country? Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best, “Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of simple minds.” If something feels wrong, looks wrong, sounds wrong, maybe it is wrong. And maybe you need to consider how the world will see your enforcement of a “rule” just because it is a rule.

This kind of mindless officiousness is what infuriates the public about bureaucratic organizations. And it can do lasting damage to your brand and your personal credibility.

I am not sure who made this particular decision, and persisted even when the situation was explained, but if I were her/him I would not only apologize to Kamryn, but I would also publicly celebrate her act of compassion and bravery. And I would store this experience away as a lesson well learned.