MERIDEN — The facial hair of Platt High School teachers and students will become unruly, long and itchy as the month progresses.
The school is participating in No Shave November, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Platt’s student senate has received no shaving commitments from about 50 students and 15 teachers. Last year the effort raised about $500 for prostrate cancer.
“It’s a great thing,” said Mark Thornton, Platt psychology teacher and assistant football coach.
Three years ago Thornton and head football coach Jason Bruenn, started participating in No Shave November. They got a few other teachers involved and students enjoyed seeing their teachers grow scruffy beards.
As advisor of the student senate, Thornton decided to get the group involved and the initiative grew.
“I’m interested to see how many students and teachers keep growing them,” Thornton said.
This is the one time during the year Thornton grows out his beard and his wife is OK with him doing it for a good cause. Thornton said his beard has entered its “itchy” phase.
Over the past several years, growing facial hair for charity has become more popular.
Platt senior Aidan Messier, president of the student senate, said he believes the popularity has been helped by the prevalence of social media. There’s Facebook pages, blogs and Twitter accounts dedicated to the fundraisers. People share the pages and websites and more people get involved, he said.
“It’s a thing now,” said Messier, who’s participating in the month of no shaving. “There’s even mustache merchandise, including mugs and glasses embracing facial hair.”
Platt Principal Rob Montemurro, who is participating, said the fundraiser is a great relationship builder for teachers and students.
Messier said a student senate member also plans on selling fake mustaches for a dollar. All proceeds will go the American Cancer Society.
Thornton said the club will probably sell No Shave November bracelets for the cause as well.