A father is suing a Michigan school district after a librarian cut his daughter’s hair without asking for his permission.
Jurnee Hoffmeyer, 7, had asked a library employee for the haircut back in March. But her father Jimmy Hoffmeyer said staff should have consulted him first.
“They kind of brushed it off as an incident that kind of just happens. Well, it doesn’t just kind of happen that a child goes to school and a teaching staff decides to cut her hair,” said Shawndrica Simmons, the attorney for family.
Simmons filed a $1 million federal lawsuit this week against Mount Pleasant Public Schools on behalf of Jimmy Hoffmeyer and Jurnee.
The suit alleges that the school district committed racial discrimination, assault and battery as well as violating Jurnee’s constitutional rights.
She allegedly had pain and experienced emotional distress, mental anguish, humiliation, and embarrassment.
School administrators reveal how they hope to make sure an incident like this never happens again. And Simmons wants to make sure they stick to their word.
“The environment and the culture at Mount Pleasant School District obviously needs to change, because there’s no way that a school district in 2021 should think that cutting a minor child’s hair at school is not a big deal,” she said.
The librarian who was at fault has still not been penalized and therefore gets to keep her job after school district officials decided she did not act with racial bias.
A librarian claimed she was attempting to fix a previous cut made by bullies but the father rebutted that the librarian’s actions wouldn’t have happened if she wasn’t biracial.
“We found out that it was a child so we kinda, you know, shrugged it off and we didn’t really know what to do,” the dad revealed on a Facebook Live post in April. “It was just a child incident — kids do that sometimes.”
“So I took her to the salon like any parent would to, you know, give her a nice little haircut,” he continued. “The stylist managed to give Jurnee an asymmetrical haircut. Half of it was short and half of it was long.”
But a few days later, the dad was surprised to see Jurnee came home with another. “She was crying,” the dad said, according to Today. “She was afraid of getting in trouble for getting her hair cut.
“I asked what happened and said ‘I thought I told you no child should ever cut your hair,’” he continued. “She said ‘But dad, it was the teacher.’ The teacher cut her hair to even it out.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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