Richmond teacher provides haircuts ahead of school ceremony: ‘I’m always there for them’

RICHMOND, Va. -- Robert Dunham just had a feeling this morning before he went to work at Carver Elementary School in Richmond. The fifth grade teacher had the feeling that some of his students might need an extra hand ahead of Wednesday's Moving On Ceremony, when his students say goodbye to their elementary school and set their sights on middle school.

"I had a gut feeling some of my boys were going to come today and they were not going to be prepared," Mr. Dunham said. "I remember my fifth grade Moving On Ceremony, something just said 'take your clippers and put them in your bag.'"

Mr. Dunham's gut feeling paid off. Ahead of the ceremony, he noticed some of his students needed his help.

"One of my students showed up and I said 'see I knew you were going to need a haircut,'" he said with a smile.

As soon as Dunham pulled out his clippers, other students came to his classroom for a fresh cut.

"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," he said. "I want every one of my students to be confident today. This is their special day."

Adults in the room saw what Mr. Dunham was doing, snapped photos, and shared them on social media. Mr. Dunham newfound viral fame aligned perfectly with a life's lesson he preached to his students.

Robert Dunham provided haircuts to students at Carver Elementary School

Photo Credit: Dionyah Randolph

"You should always be caught doing the right thing, at all times," he said. "I'm just happy to be a part of that moment."

Mr. Dunham said he was proud to be a part of the new Carver Elementary School.

"We have some of the brightest and funniest kids on the planet," he said. "Often we get a bad rap because of things that happened in the past. We tell people, this is in the new Carver. Whatever you remember, those days are over."

This day was all about the kids, some with fresh cuts.

"If they don't remember anything else about me, I always want them to remember that I was always there for them," he said about his graduating students. "Being that positive male role model is something I take pride in every day."

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