On Tuesday, a Michigan father Jimmy Hoffmeyer filed a lawsuit against the school district, a librarian and teacher’s assistant as a teacher cut his daughter’s hair without permission. The child is biracial as her father is Black and white, her mother is white and the substitute teacher who cut her hair is also white.
The 7-year old’s father told the Associated Press that his daughter came home from Ganiard Elementary with a lot of her hair cut on one side. He told the AP in April that his daughter Jurnee said that a classmate cut her hair on a school bus with some scissors.
Her father complained about the incident to the principal and took his daughter to a salon where her hair was styled in an asymmetrical cut to even out the different lengths on both sides. Two days after the incident, his daughter arrived home with her hair cut on the other side, as well.
When Hoffmeyer asked his daughter what happened and said he thought that he had told her that no child should ever cut her hair his daughter replied saying that the teacher cut her hair to even it out.
So, Hoffmeyer filed a lawsuit in the federal court in Grand Rapids against Mount Pleasant Public Schools. The suit alleges following violations against the biracial girl:
- violation of constitutional rights
- racial discrimination
- ethnic intimidation
- intentional infliction of emotional distress
According to the lawsuit, the district “failed to properly train, monitor, direct, discipline and supervise their employees.” It also noted that the district knew or should have known that “employees would engage in the complained behavior” and more.
In July, the Mount Pleasant Public Schools Board of Education admitted that “despite good intentions” of the worker, the action of cutting the kid’s hair without the permission of her parents and without the knowledge of district administration violated school policy.
The school board said that they conducted independent investigations and district administrator also conducted an internal review. The employee who cut her hair and two employees who didn’t report it, apologized according to the board.
Hoffmeyer said that the district never questioned him or Jurnee. She has left the school and joined another school.