A seven-year-old student’s father sues an elementary school in Mount Pleasant, Michigan for cutting his daughter’s hair by one of the teachers. He considered this to be a racist motive. He asked the educational institution to pay compensation in the amount of one million dollars. The woman claims that she only wanted to straighten the girl’s hairstyle after another student cut her tuft with scissors.
It all started when seven-year-old Jurnee Hoffmeyer returned from school in tears on March 24. One side of her lush, curly blonde hair was much shorter than the other. The girl stated that a classmate had cut a tuft of curls with scissors on the school bus.
Troubles with the girl’s haircut, the anger of the father
Jurnee’s father, Jimmy Hoffmeyer, filed a complaint with the principal of an elementary school in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. But he decided not to blow it up, considering it was just a silly joke on a seven-year-old cliff. To cheer up his daughter, he took her to a hairdressing salon. The hair was not completely straightened, but the new hairstyle, while still asymmetrical, looked much better. “A smile appeared on the daughter’s face again,” the man recalled.
Two days after incident on the school coach, Jurnee returned home again with a different haircut. Her hair was now even, but very short. – She was crying. I asked her what happened. I said: I thought we explained to ourselves that no child has the right to cut your hair – reported the girl’s father in an April interview with the AP agency. – She replied: but Daddy, this time the teacher did it. The teacher cut her hair to straighten it, emphasized Hoffmeyer.
Accusations of racism
This infuriated him and he contacted the school. It turned out that the librarian was responsible for Jurnee’s new hairstyle. The headmistress told Hoffmeyer that she could make a note of this in the teacher’s official records. “She convinced me she had no authority to do more about it,” the man recalled. Dissatisfied with the school’s reaction, he reported the matter to the Moun Pleasant police.
About a week later, he received a call from the district probation officer. The woman was to offer the family a card with an official apology. “I got mad and hung up,” Father Jarnee said to the Associated Press.
According to the man, the incident was racist, due to his daughter’s dark complexion. He himself is a mulatto, the girl’s mother is white. – I am not one of those who see everything through the prism of race – he argued. However, he argued that both amateur hairdressers – both the daughter’s friend and the teacher – were white.
Mount Pleasant is located approximately 240 kilometers northwest of Detroit. Among the inhabitants of the city with 25,000 inhabitants, 4 percent are black people.
Complaint and investigation
The school authorities conducted an internal investigation into the matter which did not reveal any racial bias. As reported by Sky News, school employees and students and their families were questioned in the case, films, photos and posts published on social media were also viewed. Hoffmeyer claims that neither he nor his daughter, who is currently attending a different school, have been questioned on the matter.
The investigation showed that cutting the student’s hair without the consent of her parents was a violation of the institution’s regulations. Despite the “good intentions”, the teacher who did so received a reprimand. Two other school staff were supposed to know about the incident but did not report it. All three issued an apology to the girl and her family.
Jurnee’s father, however, decided to go to court. As reported by the BBC, he sued the school and its two employees, accusing them of violating the constitutional rights of children, racial discrimination and mental and physical violence. Hoffmeyer is seeking $ 1 million in damages.
The authorities of the facility found the charges unfounded and announced that they would defend themselves in court.
Main photo source: Instagram / jimmyhoffmeyer