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Michigan school district reprimands employee who cut 7-year-old girl’s hair

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Posted at 10:36 AM, Jul 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-06 10:36:33-04

A Michigan school district has reprimanded three employees after a 7-year-old girl’s hair was cut at her elementary school.

The Mount Pleasant Public Schools Board of Education said Friday in a news release that an independent third-party investigation determined that despite “good intentions” of the worker who cut the girl’s hair on March 26, doing so without permission from her parents and without the knowledge of district administrators violated school policy.

“As a result of the district’s investigation, the employee who cut the student’s hair will be placed on a ‘last chance’ agreement during which time any future violations will likely result in termination,” the school board said.

The other two employees were aware of the incident but didn’t report it. All three employees have apologized, the board said.

Jimmy Hoffmeyer told The Associated Press in April that his daughter, Jurnee, arrived home from school with much of her hair on one side cut. She said a classmate used scissors to cut her hair on the school bus, Hoffmeyer said.

Two days later — after complaining to the principal and having Jurnee’s hair styled at a salon with an asymmetrical cut to make the differing lengths less obvious — Jurnee arrived home with the other side cut by a school employee to even it out.

Jurnee is biracial. The girl who cut Jurnee’s hair is white. The teacher who cut it also is white, said Hoffmeyer.

The school board said the independent investigation found no racial bias and included interviews with district personnel, students and families and a review of video and photos, including posts on social media. District administrators also performed an internal review of the incident.

“They never questioned my daughter or me,” Hoffmeyer said Friday. “Who did they talk to? Did they really do an investigation?”

Mount Pleasant is about 150 miles (241 kilometers) northwest of Detroit. About 4% of Mount Pleasant’s 25,000 residents are Black, according to the U.S. Census.