TODAY   |  March 28, 2014

Girl, 9: I felt ‘punished’ for shaving head for friend

Kamryn Renfro, 9, who was temporarily forbidden to attend school after she shaved her head to support cancer-stricken friend Delaney Clements, joins TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie along with Delaney and both their moms. NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> now to a story a lot of people were talking about this week. we introduced you to the 9-year-old girl who shaved her head to support a friend who has cancer. she ended up being kicked out of school. she's now allowed to return. we're going to talk to both girls and their moms in a moment. but first, here's gabe gutierrez with more on their story.

>> reporter: 9-year-old cameron renfro never expected the kind of reaction one action would bring. she shaved her head in support of her friend delaney clemens, an 11-year-old with an incredible smile who was enduring chemo.

>> your hair doesn't tell your personality.

>> reporter: but what shocked so many is that cameron 's charter school in grand junction , colorado, suspended her. the dress code said shaved heads are not permitted. the story went viral. among the tweets, common sense, anyone? and i've never been so disappointed in the colorado school system . on tuesday, the school board voted 3-1 to let cameron to come back to class. so who was the dissenting vote?

>> i believe that we as a country have succumbed to making decisions based on emotion as opposed to logic and critical thinking.

>> that's one way to look at it. here's another.

>> these kids taught the adults a lesson, caring and compassion is far greater than what the hair on your head is doing.

>> now these friends are sticking together to support the girl who this morning is refusing to frown.

>> i just love to smile and be happy.

>> reporter: for "today," gabe gutierrez, nbc news, los angeles .

>> well, cameron and delaney are with us now. hi, ladies, good morning to you.

>> good morning, savannah.

>> got to start with the moms. were you surprised when you saw how much reaction this story got this week? wendy?

>> absolutely. just overwhelming. we left on monday to go to the hospital in denver because delaney had an appointment on wednesday. and my phone. i woke up really the next morning and had over 400, 500 like notifications just telling -- showing so much support for our kids.

>> what about you girls? were you surprised at all this attention?

>> very.

>> you are? what did you think, cameron , when you first found out on monday. you shaved your head over the week, you were ready to go to school and show everybody and found out the school wouldn't let you come. how did you feel about that?

>> i was pretty sad they didn't let me go to school. and i was feeling that i was punished. and, yeah, like --

>> it was hard. and jamie, i know you were upset, too. to get it straight, did you tell the school ahead of time why she shaved her head?

>> i sent them an e-mail.

>> and so when you talked to the administrator, what was the explanation?

>> just that it was in violation of their dress code . so they gave me the steps for the channels to go through to try to have that revised.

>> well, now we know it has been revised. you're able to go to school. what did everyone think when they came and saw your new look?

>> they thought i was brave to shave my head for cancer. and they just told me that i was like brave and i was nice and all that stuff.

>> well, i know another really brave girl sitting next to you, delaney . what did you think, honey, when you saw what cameron did that she wanted to do this to be just like you.

>> i felt very good inside. i was so happy that i would have somebody there for me, and she was there for me the whole step of the way and everything.

>> does it make it easier to have a friend that has the same look?

>> yes.

>> are you getting used to it?

>> yeah.

>> you guys look pretty adorable.

>> thank you.

>> you must be so proud, jamie, that cameron had it in her heart to do this.

>> that is an understatement. we are so proud of her and delaney both. they are amazing.

>> delaney 's an incredibly strong and darling little girl , wendy. i mean, what do you hope people take from this besides getting to know what good girls you have?

>> you know what, i want from them to get from it is the awareness of childhood cancer and what it means to have a friend that can go through it with you. so many people don't realize what these kids go through when they're in the hospital and, you know, pretty much bedridden. nobody's there with them except for their moms or their dads. very little contact with a bunch of other people. when you actually have a friend who takes an amazing step in life and shaves off all their hair, you -- i mean, delaney has been so excited watching when they did it. it mean, they were -- it was like probably one of their proudest moments, and it was very heartwarming to watch.

>> well, both of you girls give your moms and dads a real reason to be proud. and a lot of new friends out there cheering you on. thank you for being here.

>> thank you for having us.