SAN ANTONIO, Texas (CNN) – A Texas teen is no longer going to his high school after he was forced to choose between helping his ill sister or sticking by the school’s policy on hairstyles.
Maggie Johnson says, “I get like nauseated, and I like throw up, and like I’ll get like a real bad headache.”
11-year-old Maggie is just like any other fifth grader.
She loves school and sports, but hit a big hurdle in October of 2019 when she was diagnosed with Wegener’s Disease.
Wegener’s Disease is an autoimmune disease affecting your kidneys which causes the young girl to get chemo and dialysis.
The treatments she’s getting are now threatening her long curly red hair.
“Some spots in my hair like has came out, like this like started falling out,” Maggie said.
That’s when her 16-year-old brother and best friend Newt stepped in to save the day and decided he was going to grow out his hair in case his younger sister needed a wig.
“It made me feel good that I could do something for her,” Newt said.
As a father, Alan Johnson said it was no surprise and he’s proud to see his son thinking about his sister and standing up for what he believes in.
“I was proud, they know to be respectful and kind, but if they have a thought they believe in, something they can put their foot down and stand up for it,” said the father.
So, Newt started growing out his hair for locks of love knowing he needed between eight to 14 inches before donating it.
But he hit a snag. The principal at Poth High School told him he’d have to cut it.
“If it wasn’t cut by Monday then I couldn’t come back to school,” Newt said.
Newt, like all the other students in the district, was given a student handbook with hair policies for students at the beginning of the school year.
“It can’t be any longer than, uh, the shoulder length. It’s got to be above the ears.”
The caring brother stood his ground and did not get a haircut instead opting to be home-schooled, to avoid adding more stress on his parents.
The caring brother stood his ground and did not get a haircut.
“It really stressed me out because I already worried about my sister,” said Newt.
His 11-year-old sister left wondering why her brother was getting in trouble for doing something for her, even after the district was aware of her diagnosis.
“I don’t understand why you’re kicking him out for doing something for me, if I need it,” said Maggie.
Newt spoke with his parents and decided to be home-schooled to avoid adding more stress on them.
Something he said his dad taught him.
“Pick your battles,” Alan Johnson said. “You know, if it’s something you believe in, you just, just have to go for it.”
Newt’s still growing out his hair for his sister, but he said he won’t stop there. He plans on helping others who are also suffering hair loss.