Bullying has always been an issue in schools. It’s as prominent today as it was when we were children. Sadly, seeing our children bullied is even more heartbreaking than when it happened to us.
One kindergarten teacher from Willis, Texas, decided to put a stop to bullying by setting a positive example for her students.
Shannon Grimm calls the kids in her Meador Elementary School class her “friends.” And she treats them as if they were her own children.
So when 5-year-old Prisilla Perez found herself being teased for her short haircut, Grimm knew she had to do more than simply put a student in a time out.
Things got so bad that Perez started wearing a hat to school. “Friends started to call her a boy, and those words cut deep,” Grimm told KTRK. “Any time I would put my arm around to help her with her work she would get stiff and nervous.”
“I would cry because I would think school was not fun,” Perez said.
Grimm knew something needed to change for the precious girl. Over the winter break, the compassionate teacher did something unexpected and heartwarming.
Though her long hair was down to her waist, Grimm’s student was more important. The teacher returned to school in 2019 with a pixie cut and a big smile.
“I told them, ‘I think I look beautiful. Don’t you think I do?’” Grimm shared with TODAY Style. “I had to show them boys have long hair like girls and girls have short hair like boys.”
To top it off, Grimm wears a bow to match Perez’s every day, just another reminder that she is beautiful and she is not alone.
“I would definitely do it again,” Grimm told Good Morning America. “In Prisilla’s eyes this is everything to her. And to my students, who learned such a valuable lesson of looking on the inside of someone.”
Willis Independent School District honored Perez as the student of the month by awarding her a medal on Feb. 11, 2019. “In a surprise twist, Prisilla presented her teacher with a medal for being her hero,” the district shared on Facebook.
“Willis ISD is proud of Ms. Grimm for her willingness to go above and beyond to brighten a child’s world,” the district went on. “Congratulations to TWO very deserving individuals!”
Grimm also shared a video on Facebook in which she expressed in more detail exactly why she cut her hair and what she hopes her students will learn from it.
“When they come to school upset and sad because of the way they look, that destroys me as their teacher,” Grimm said in the vulnerable video. “What better way to show them that you can look any way and still be true to yourself?”
“They are beautiful no matter what they look like, no matter what haircut they have,” Grimm went on. “They are beautiful and I love them no matter what.”
What a fine educator and good friend this teacher is. We applaud her kindness and hope her good deeds turn as infectious as her beautiful smile.
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