By Debbie Gregory.
For his selfless devotion to duty, Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class David Robert “Bobby” Ray posthumously earned the Medal of Honor. His actions during a 1969 battle near An Hoa, Vietnam included ignoring incoming fire, moving from casualty to casualty, rendering aid to as many Marines as possible, while taking up arms to defend his patients. Despite suffering severe wounds while treating members of his unit, Ray continued administering aid. His final act came when he threw himself onto the body of a patient to save him from a nearby grenade blast.
Now, the school that honored him as a namesake is in hot water.
Seven year old Adam Stinnett attends Bobby Ray Memorial Elementary School in McMinnville, TN. Stinnett went to school on March 9th sporting a new haircut, the military’s signature “high and tight.” The haircut was requested by the young man so that he could be more like his active duty stepbrother, Justin Bloodworth. The haircut was not well received, as Adam was written up by the principal, who thought the haircut was against school policy banning “Mohawk haircuts or other extreme cuts.”
Adam’s mother, Amy Stinnett, saw no issue with the haircut and sent him to school the next day unchanged. The school’s principal sent Amy an email stating that Adam would have to change his hairstyle before he was able to return to school.
With so much hair already gone, his mother had no choice but to shave his head.
Adam was left heartbroken, and his dreams to follow Bloodworth’s path were crushed.
“They made him feel upset. They broke his heart. He didn’t deserve that,” Amy said.
Could a social media firestorm be far off? Stinnett contacted the local newspaper, whose article gained a lot of attention on Facebook, along with a later piece from a local Fox TV affiliate. Sinnett was then contacted by regional and national news outlets looking to spread the story.
The Warren County Board of Education put out a statement in response, saying that neither “Bobby Ray Memorial Elementary, nor any school in Warren County School District, prohibits military haircuts.” But they refused to discuss Adam’s case.
The school district was forced to take down its Facebook page due to the increased volume of comments from people expressing their opinions on the matter.
Cox says the haircut policy is under review.
Adam’s mother said, “All I really want is for the school and the school district to do a public apology. Not just for my son, but for the fallen war heroes … and the veterans, and the active military personnel that are in the Army now.”
Cox is insistent that the school is not anti-military or anti-patriot. But in light of their actions, this might be a hard concept for a seven year old to grasp.
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Military Connection: Haircut Ruling Lands School in Hot Water: By Debbie Gregory