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Mom: Son Kicked Out Of Catholic School For Long Hair

BRICK, N.J. (1010 WINS) -- A 4-year-old New Jersey boy, who has been growing out his hair to raise money for the National Children's Leukemia Foundation, has been kicked out of his Catholic school for violating the dress code.

Jack Szablewski's long, blonde locks stretch 12 inches, almost down to his waist on his tiny frame.


1010 WINS' Steve Sandberg reports

"It was my idea to donate his hair to a cause," his mother, Renee, told 1010 WINS' Steve Sandberg.

After Jack's grandfather died of cancer, Renee wanted to help children with leukemia.

Jack Szablewski
Jack Szablewski (Handout)

Renee Szablewski said, in a letter to Carol Bathmann – the principal of St. Dominic School in Brick, N.J., that she made an appointment to have Jack's hair cut at FERRAZZ hair salon in Hoboken on Sept. 30.

She said Jack's hair donation was being merged with the story of Shannon Tavarez, the 11-year-old girl that played Nala in Broadway's "The Lion King." Tavarez lost her battle with leukemia this week.

Szablewski said the trip to the salon had to be postponed because of inclement weather. When she arrived at St. Dominic's the next day, neither she nor Jack were allowed on school property, Szablewski said.

Szablewski said Bathmann failed to return her phone calls, respond to her letter or arrange a meeting at a time convenient to both her and her husband.

"We were being punished for an act of charity," Szablewski said.

The Diocese says the family was given 13 months to cut Jack's hair and were told he could keep it long until the first day of kindergarten.

Renee calls it an abuse of power.

"If Jesus was to come back down today and go to St. Dominic's, would they kick him out," Renee asked. "I think that they would because he doesn't fit the dress code."

Renee said she was reimbursed $1,000 of tuition but did not get back hundreds of dollars in fees and donations to the school.

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