When Texas kindergarten teacher Shannon Grimm noticed that one of her students, 5-year-old Prisilla Perez, was being teased by classmates for "looking like a boy," she decided to take action. Now, Grimm and Prisilla have matching haircuts and wear matching bows at school to show everyone it's OK for girls to have short hair, too.
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Prisilla became embarrassed over her pixie-cut hairstyle after classmates told her it made her look "like a boy." The teasing caused the little girl to cry and withdraw at school, wearing a hat or hoodie to cover her head at all times.
"I would cry because I would think school was not fun," Prisilla told
Eventually, Prisilla approached Grimm and told her she wanted her hair to be long (like Grimm's). In order to make a point to her students and to stand in solidarity with Prisilla, Grimm cut her waist-long hair into a bob just like Prisilla's over winter break.
Grimm explained she wants to teach her students not just in academics but in life, saying, "What better way to show them that you can look any way and be true to yourself and that you can be whoever you want — it doesn't matter what you look like — than to cut my own hair?"
Grimm also bought matching hair bows for her and Prisilla to wear each day in the classroom, and she says the teasing has stopped.
CNN reported that at a school board meeting last week, Prisilla presented her teacher "with a medal for being her hero during a difficult time." Grimm had previously nominated Prisilla as the district's student of the month for her bravery.