By Christopher Tobutt
Lots of fellow students from Clifton Hunter High School, along with teachers too, let 13-year old Derron Hernandez know for sure that just because he is fighting cancer and undergoing a course chemotherapy of in the States, he is not alone. By shaving their head shaved during a very special school assembly on Friday 1 October, about 20 kids from Clifton Hunter, and another 5 children from North Side’s Edna Moyle Primary School showed exactly what empathy and respect means.
Even the kids who didn’t have their head shaved showed that they cared by raising more than five thousand dollars over several weeks to help with Derron’s expenses. Lots of MLAs including Premier Alden McLaughlin had contributed 100 dollars each, too, making it not just a school, but a whole Cayman-Kind Community event. That was what Deputy Principal Steven Clark spoke about, just before the big shave began. “Empathy means we show understanding, we reflect, and we show sensitivity. That empathy has to continue. We have been absolutely amazing as a school, and you students have made me extremely proud,” he said.
Carol Saunds PTA President from Edna Moyle Primary said, “The Children are here today to show support for Derron Hernandez who is a pat student for Edna Moyle primary. They want to show empathy with his condition.”
Twelve-year old Christian Campbell was all ready to be shaved, and Christine Campbell his mom was there, too. “The school had been promoting awareness of Derron’s situation for a number of weeks,” Ms. Campbell explained, “and the students had been discussing it in tutorial sessions, and one day Christian came up and said, ‘I want to participate in the head shave, to support Derron.’ His daddy and I were very impressed and touched that he had made this decision on his own. We asked him how he is going to feel about his head being shaved, because that is something he does not like whenever he goes to the barber, and he said yes it might be uncomfortable but he thinks it is worth it because it is for a good cause.”
14 year old Sirion Bennett also came up to one of the two ‘barber’s chairs,’ manned by Lions Brian Barnes and Gary Franklin, set in the middle of the stage. After all his hair had fallen to the ground, he said, “I wanted to support Derron since he has cancer and I wanted to show him that he is not alone in this.”
Deputy Principal Sharon Thomspon said, “This is important because it’s teaching them the value of giving back and teaching them the value of community of supporting each other. Our children have really risen to the task, they have supported 150 percent and I am so proud of them, and it’s not just our children but our teachers too, because parents have given of themselves and our leaders have given of themselves, so we are really grateful that we have this opportunity to show Cayman that the values of giving and supporting each other are still there.”
Right at the end of the assembly, Derron Hernandez was able to communicate with everyone via zoom, and a big projected image on a screen. “I want to thank everyone for the support that you have given us. It has helped me look forward to the future. It is just such a blessing to have you all here to support me…