DENVER -- The mother of a Grand Junction third-grader who shaved her head in solidarity with a cancer-stricken friend is asking for an end to the national furor over a school's short-lived decision to bar the girl from campus so the focus can shift to the recovery of her 11-year-old friend.
The board of directors of the charter school, the Caprock Academy, voted Tuesday to let Kamryn Renfro remain. Officials had earlier barred her, saying she violated the dress code by shaving her head over the weekend.
The Denver Post reported Wednesday that Kamryn's mother, Jamie Olson Renfro, took her daughter to Denver Tuesday to be with her friend ahead of a hospital visit. Olson Renfro called on people who have been following the story to think of Delaney Clements, who has been fighting childhood cancer since she was 7.
"Delaney is still in the fight of her life, and needs as much love, support and prayers as she can get," Olson Renfro told the Post.
Delaney, bald from chemotherapy, told the Post that having friends willing to shave their heads made it easier to withstand teasing about her appearance.
"It feels good to have my friends be there for me and to know I am not alone," she said.
Olson Renfro also wrote on Facebook that Caprock was supportive of her daughter throughout the process that ended with Tuesday's board vote.
The board voted 3-1 to grant Kamryn a waiver from the dress code, The Daily Sentinel reported Wednesday. Two uniformed Grand Junction Police officers were on hand at the special meeting for the vote. Police Chief John Camper said police saw no specific threat, but offered to send officers because emotions were high and the events have received considerable attention.
School officials said administrators were correct to act against Kamryn until the school board was able to vote on a personal exception for her, CBS Grand Junction affiliate KREX-TV reports.
"We're a classical education school. We would expect our students to engage in critical thinking, and sometimes that's going to be challenging us," Chairwoman Catherine Norton Breman said.
Breman began the special meeting by telling the audience of about 20 people, most of them teachers and reporters, that Kamryn's motivation was "commendable."
The board member who voted against the waiver, Bill Newcomer, said "emotionally charged" decisions should be avoided.