Father Files $1M Lawsuit After School Employee Cuts Daughter's Hair Without Permission

Father Files $1M Lawsuit After School Employee Cuts Daughter's Hair Without Permission

The 7-year-old's dad filed the suit against the school district, a librarian and a teacher’s assistant.

A few months ago, a shocked dad learned that a school employee had cut his 7-year-old daughter's curls without parental permission. Jimmy Hoffmeyer revealed his daughter Jurnee came home on March 24 with one side of her hair cut by a few inches, he told USA Today. The Michigan dad took his daughter to a hair salon where they gave the 7-year-old an asymmetrical hairstyle to hide the chop. A few days later his daughter came back with the other side of her haircut. At the time the dad told the outlet the young girl's hair was cut on two different occasions—first by a classmate, then a school employee.



The Mount Pleasant School District later acknowledged that a student asked for her hair to be cut both times, first by a classmate and later by a library employee. The two have since apologized for their actions. "At Mount Pleasant Public Schools, we strive to ensure all our students can learn and achieve in an inclusive, safe environment free from harassment, discrimination, bigotry, or intolerance," a letter signed by superintendent Verleger said. "We work hard each day to foster a culture of respect, compassion, and kindness so all our students, families, staff, and visitors feel welcome and supported." The school then stated that Jurnee "grew unhappy and dissatisfied with the way her hair looked after the other student cut it and asked a school library employee to help fix her hair during a classroom visit to the library" and the employee, who is also a cosmetologist, "agreed to even out the student's hair to make her feel better." Jurnee's teacher was made aware that the librarian planned on cutting her hair. "Regardless of their good intentions, these actions are unacceptable and show a lack of judgment on the part of our two employees," the statement said. "Both employees have admitted their actions and apologized. Both are being reviewed for further disciplinary actions in accordance with our school policies and procedures. I have personally apologized to the family on behalf of the school district." Hoffmeyer questioned, "I still want to know what justifies a teacher cutting a child's hair without their parents' permission? Any of this could have been resolved with a phone call. She doesn't understand what's wrong with her hair." 



Now the father has filed a lawsuit on Tuesday in federal court in Grand Rapids against Mount Pleasant Public Schools, according to MLive.com, reports FOX 13.  Jurnee’s mother is white and her father Jimmy is Black and White. The lawsuit alleges that the biracial girl’s constitutional rights were violated, racial discrimination, ethnic intimidation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and assault and battery. According to The Daily Beast, the Mount Pleasant Public Schools Board of Education closed an investigation into the incident in July. It was concluded that the librarian had not acted with racial bias. She was allowed to keep her job on a “last chance” agreement. Jurnee no longer attends this school and has been enrolled elsewhere after the incident.

Representational Image Source: Getty Images/Noemi Marrero / EyeEm