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High school student J.T. Gaskins suspended for growing out hair for Locks of Love

Seventeen-year-old J.T. Gaskins was suspended from Madison Academy for growing his hair longer than the school rules allowed.

The sad part is he was not doing it to be rebellious, or to look like his favorite rock star. Gaskins refused to cut his hair because he was determined to donate to Locks of Love.

A survivor of Leukemia himself, Gaskins related to a family friend who was battling cancer and decide he wanted to give back to all those affected by this horrible disease. “He’s celebrating his life and now he wants to give back so that other kids can have an opportunity to celebrate theirs too,” said Christa Plante, Gaskin’s mother, in an interview with

Plante gave the school suggestions of compromises such as having her son pull his hair back in a ponytail, or creating a donation clause that allowed those who were giving their hair to Locks of Love to temporarily be excluded from the school’s policy. But the administration has refused to budge.

“The girl sitting next to him can grow her hair and donate and yet you’re looking at your boy students and saying, ‘We’re going to kick you out for doing the exact same thing,’” Plante said.

It just doesn’t make sense.

Plante has started a petition on, which has garnered more than 35,000 signatures and comments of support. Just like when he battled cancer, J.T. Gaskins is not giving up without a fight.

Categories: US News
  • Angela Weigle

    Nice writing, Ms. Hornyak.  Mind if I use your article in my language arts classes?

    • Krista Hornyak

      Sure! go ahead! :)

  • Mom in NJ

    This is absurd! Focus on real issues w/ teenagers – not the length of hair.