Wilmington principal bonds with young students through haircuts

An elementary school principal is doing his part to change the world one student, and one haircut at a time.

Principal Dr. Terrance Newton of Warner Elementary School in Wilmington, Delaware always finds unique ways to connect with his students.

“Back in the day, you get called into the principal’s office you are in trouble your stomach sunk.” Dr. Newton explained. “When I call my student down to the office, it is not always about trouble.”

Inside a converted supply closet, Dr. Newton breaks out his razor and gives his students a fresh haircut. He feels it’s a way to break the ice with his students.

Dr. Terrance Newton uses haircuts as a way to connect with his students.

“It is making them feel comfortable. Make them look good, make them feel good and with that it makes them act good,” Dr. Newton said.

The conversations range from sports to what subject in school they like the best.


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“The key to this is building relationships. Sometimes just having that dialog and understanding that you know their situation and just give them some feedback. Not being too demanding. Being like if I was in this situation, this is what I would do.” Dr. Newton said.

To Dr. Newton, each cut can be a reflection of his own life.

Dr. Newton says he's found that haircuts and casual conversation can really help his students feel more comfortable.

“Every kid I see that comes in this building, I see myself. My mother raised six kids as a single parent and it was kind of tough for her.” He said. “My brother was murdered in the city of Wilmington about a year and a half ago. My revenge is to help my babies. I want to change them. I want to stop all the crime in the City of Wilmington. I want to stop the shootings I want to show these kids the different ways to be productive than crime,” he explained.

When he is not giving out haircuts, Dr. Newton routinely visits each student’s class just to give something as a simple high-five, or looking for another way to form a bond that can last a lifetime.   


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