Why This Virginia Teacher Gave Free Haircuts to 5th Graders Ahead of Graduation

First-year teacher Robert Dunham is the talk of the town after he went above and beyond his duty by giving his graduating students free haircuts. Speaking to the press after he went viral, Dunham reveals why.  

A teacher on his first year has already made quite an impression and it had nothing to do with his academic skills. 

Fifth-grade teacher Robert Dunham went beyond his duty when he showed up for his student’s Moving On Ceremony armed with clippers. The teacher from Carver Elementary School in Richmond, Virginia said he had a “gut feeling” it would come in handy for the occasion. 

WAKING UP TO A THOUGHTFUL IDEA

Dunham, who learned to cut hair growing up in Brooklyn told Yahoo Lifestyle, it was important to him that his students felt their best during their graduation. He woke up thinking they may need a hand with grooming their hair so he grabbed his clippers before heading to school. His wife even asked why he was taking them with him. Dunham told Yahoo his reply was, “Something tells me some of my students are going to need a trim.’”

“I want every one of my students to be confident today. This is their special day.”

GOING ABOVE AND BEYOND 

True enough, Dunham had his hands full when he arrived in school. Students were lining up for a cut and his colleagues sent him more and more graduates to avail of his service.  Little did the dedicated teacher know that a fourth-grade colleague was taking pictures of the whole thing and later shared it on social media. It didn’t take long before Dunham became a viral sensation. 

Dunham said it wasn’t his intention to make the news. All he really wanted was for his students to look good for the occasion. And he believes a simple haircut does wonders for a person’s confidence. 

“When I go to the barbershop when I get a haircut, you feel good, you look good, you’ve got that confidence starting to come out of you,” Dunham told Richmond station WTVR-TV. “I want every one of my students to be confident today. This is their special day.”

A GOOD DEED GOES A LONG WAY

It turns out that day became special for Dunham too who earned praises for his noble deed. Moreover, he managed to shine a positive light on Carver which was involved in a cheating scandal last year.  Dunham proudly told WTVR, “This is in the new Carver. Whatever you remember, those days are over.”

ANOTHER ACT OF KINDNESS TOWARDS GRADUATING STUDENTS

Graduation is a special time for students and we can understand why Dunham would go out of his way to make them feel special. It is the culmination of their years of hard work and an affirmation of their success. As such, Dunham isn't alone in his plight to make the occasion as memorable for his students. In fact, a barbershop owner in North Carolina wanted to make sure there was no senior left out on graduation day so she too did something admirable.

Inspired by Robert F. Smith who recently paid off the debts of an entire senior class, Season Bennett tried to do the same in a smaller scale. She raised the money needed to pay for the debts of 14 senior students East Mecklenburg High School who couldn't graduate because of outstanding bills. Even more inspiring, Carolina Panthers linebacker, Thomas' Davis, upon learning of Bennett's efforts offered to shoulder the cumulative amount of the debts. 

These people are worthy to be lauded for their generosity and thoughtfulness. And by sharing their stories, we hope many more will be inspired by them and find ways to make a difference in the community.

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