Skyridge High School Students, Teachers Go Bald For a Good Cause
LEHI, Utah – More than 80 students and teachers at Skyridge High School went bald for a purpose.
Friday, hundreds filled the Falcon’s Gymnasium to listen to Brett Bunker, Operation Underground Railroad’s Board of Governor’s Chair speak about efforts to stop human trafficking.
“A rescue mission is happening every day and a half, and because of O.U.R more than 1,173 criminal traffickers are behind bars,” Bunker said. “No child should be a sex slave.”
The 25 members of the Skyridge Abolitionist Club organized Friday’s “Shave to Save” event.
“We went to the administration with the idea of the assembly, and we didn’t get approval the first time,” 15-year-old Mark Greenwood told KSL 5 TV. “But we just kept trying.”
Dr. Joel Perkins, Principal of Skyridge High School, said the students were extremely persistent.
“The entire club made an appointment; all 25 of them were in my office explaining the importance of spreading awareness of the O.U.R,” Dr. Perkins said. “They were dedicated. The cause was great. And they had complete passion. Today was all about our students leading the way to make a difference.”
Dr. Perkins said there are roughly 90 clubs at Skyridge High School, and half of them are service based.
The Skyridge Abolitionist Club is the only Utah High School Club of its kind.
“It’s definitely not the National Honor Society that is in every school,” Club member Greenwood said. “It’s a rare club with many hard working and devoted members.”
Dozens of local police officers, firefighters, Skyridge teachers and advisors stepped up to take all their hair off.
Rachel Billings has been teaching for nearly two decades.
“I have known since I was very young that I wanted to be a teacher,” Billings said. “I adore these students, and when I heard about this event I immediately knew I wanted to take part.”
Billings touched her freshly shaved head.
“They told me to just comb it down when it starts growing,” She smiled. “I am chaperoning prom tomorrow. I am excited for my new look.”
Billings has a daughter who attends Skyridge.
“I could hear her screaming when they were shaving my head,” Billings laughed. “My daughter was yelling, ‘I can’t believe you are doing this!’ It was so awesome.”
Billings got emotional as she talked about the rescue missions taking place around the world.
“I think about these children who are in situations and can’t get out of them,” Billings said. “I want them to know there are people out there who can help. I want to put an end to human trafficking. This is my way of saying I care, and I’m going to do whatever I can to help.”
Dozens of prom dates will have freshly buzzed hair Saturday.
“We have prom tomorrow. I think it is cool there are so many students who stepped up. These students want to be involved and make a difference,” Event Organizer Mark Greenwood said.
Greenwood said there is symbolism with the shaved heads.
“Often after a child is kidnapped, their offender will shave the child’s head. We are standing with these victims. We want to stop this terrible nightmare of human trafficking,” Greenwood said.
Community leaders, teachers and students raised more than $2,200 for Operation Underground Railroad.
Anyone looking for O.U.R updates can text 51555 or visit their website at ourrescue.org