Craig Middle School students suspended after displaying support for ailing friend | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig Middle School students suspended after displaying support for ailing friend

Face paint not allowed at CMS, but two students believed enough in their cause to break rules

Sporting purple instead of Bulldog blue and white, a number of students across Moffat County School DistrictMoffat County School District, on Friday chose to show support and raise awareness of , on Friday chose to show support and raise awareness of Arnold Chiari MalformationArnold Chiari Malformation, during Chiari Awareness Month as well as to honor the Klein family who have three children struggling with the disorder. , during Chiari Awareness Month as well as to honor the Klein family who have three children struggling with the disorder.

Moffat County School District, on Friday chose to show support and raise awareness of Arnold Chiari Malformation, during Chiari Awareness Month as well as to honor the Klein family who have three children struggling with the disorder.

Sisters and Craig Middle SchoolCraig Middle School students SaraJo Smith and Carmelita Bays wore purple and also used eyeliner to write #Chairi, #Avee and team Avee on their cheeks to honor their friend Aveahna Klein who has the disease. students SaraJo Smith and Carmelita Bays wore purple and also used eyeliner to write #Chairi, #Avee and team Avee on their cheeks to honor their friend Aveahna Klein who has the disease.

Craig Middle School students SaraJo Smith and Carmelita Bays wore purple and also used eyeliner to write #Chairi, #Avee and team Avee on their cheeks to honor their friend Aveahna Klein who has the disease.

In writing on their faces Smith and Bays violated CMS policy against face paint in school and were suspended from the school for one day.

Initially they were also made ineligible to participate in cheerleading for the next two weeks; however, this decision was reversed by CMS Principal David Grabowski Sunday afternoon, said Jessica Herrera, the girls' mother.

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Bays was told on Friday that she would be unable to run for student council; however, Herrera was not certain if that would remain the case.

"Something that was meant to be so beautiful really turned into something ugly," said Krissy Klein, mother of Aveahna, Aaron and HaleighAnn Klein, all of whom have been diagnosed with Chiari, a structural defect in the cerebellum that leads to complications of the nervous system.

"We didn’t ask for much, just to simply sport purple for a day and show my kids that they have a community that is behind them in their journey. I understand that all districts have policies they have to follow, and I respect that, but I feel the punishment was excessive and a little outrageous," Klein said.

CMS Counselor Lara Sigmon noticed the girl's faces and requested that they wash off the makeup, said the girls. Upon refusing, the girls were sent to the Grabowski's office, at which time he gave them several opportunities to remove the makeup to adhere to school policy.

"He gave us three chances to wash it off, and we still refused," Smith said. "I know that it was for a good reason, and there was no reason we should have to take it off. We were supporting a really good cause."

Herrera and grandmother Devin Jurgensen were called to the school to speak with Grabowski.

"He asked if I would make them wash it off, and I told him no. I didn't think they were doing anything wrong," Herrera said.

Face paint is an item prohibited at CMS as stated in the 2016 to 2017 CMS Student Handbook and Planner that is given to all students at the start of the year, though wearing face paint is not specifically excluded by CMS or school district dress codes.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy ActFamily Educational Rights and Privacy Act that protects students prevents school personnel from commenting on specific disciplinary actions. However, “all policies and procedures were followed,” said MCSD Superintendent Dave Ulrich. that protects students prevents school personnel from commenting on specific disciplinary actions. However, "all policies and procedures were followed," said MCSD Superintendent Dave Ulrich.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act that protects students prevents school personnel from commenting on specific disciplinary actions. However, "all policies and procedures were followed," said MCSD Superintendent Dave Ulrich.

"The middle school administration gave the students the option to adhere to the policies they refused," he said.

Bays said she has learned that "it's OK to stand up for what you believe in, and sometimes you have to get into a little bit of trouble to raise a bit of awareness because just a little bit can make a difference."

Smith agreed that it is important to "stand up for what you believe in even if you are standing alone. There should be more awareness for Avee and her family and all those families suffering like her."

Grabowski has reached out to learn how best to support the family.

"I am in contact with Miss Klein," Grabowski said.

Learn more about Chiari and how to help the Klein family by visiting their fundraising page at http://www.gofundme.com/ss24caghttp://www.gofundme.com/ss24cag..

http://www.gofundme.com/ss24cag.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.