Dad launches $1m lawsuit after teacher ‘cut his daughter’s hair without permission’

Jimmy Hoffmeyer, the father of a 7-year-old Michigan girl whose hair was cut by a teacher without permission, decided to file a $1 million lawsuit against the school district, a teacher’s assistant and a librarian.

On Tuesday, reported that the lawsuit was filed in a federal court in Grand Rapids against Pleasant Public Schools. Within the suit, it alleged that the Jurnee, who is biracial, had her constitutional rights violated, faced ethnic intimidation, racial discrimination, emotional distress and assault and battery.

Back in March, Hoffmeyer said that when his daughter returned home from school with a significant amount of her hair (which reached all the way down her back) removed from the side of her head, she noted that a classmate had done it on the bus ride home.

“I mean, I chalked it up because it was a child, and you’re not thinking of any serious consequences having to do with a kid,” Hoffmeyer told ABC12/WJRT in April.

That same day, Hoffmeyer took Journey to a salon to even out the other child’s work while leaving Jurnee’s hair around shoulder-length.

The next day, she came back home crying with the other side of her hair cut to what resembled a crew cut.

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She insisted that it wasn’t fellow classmates this time—it was a staff member.

“After that teacher cut her hair, she was so embarrassed, so embarrassed that she had to go back to class like that,” Hoffmeyer told WJRT.

When he reached out to the school to receive answers about the incident, requests went unanswered.

Flash forward to July, the Mount Pleasant Public Schools Board of Education said that the staff member who cut Jurnee’s hair had been reprimanded.

An independent third-party investigation believed that despite the worker’s presumed pure intentions to cut her hair, not receiving permission from her parents and without informing the district administrators was a violation of school protocol.

Two other staff members knew about the incident but failed to report it. According to the board, all three staff members have apologised for the situation.

The school board further said that the independent investigation didn’t see any evidence of racial bias and included interviews with students, families, district personnel, and a review of photos and videos, including social media.

An internal review of the incident was performed by the district, but Hoffmeyer said that neither he nor Jurnee were questioned.

On Thursday, Amy Bond, the president of Mount Pleasant Pleasant Public Schools Board of Education, claimed that the district hadn’t received a complaint, CBC News reported.

”We are confident that the facts will prevail given our district’s appropriate and aggressive response to the incident and the findings of the third-party investigation that was conducted,” Bond said.

She also noted that they would continue to “aggressively defend against these baseless allegations in court” and won’t let this situation veer them from their goal to “provide every child a world-class education that prepares them for college and careers.”

Now, Jurnee attends another elementary school.


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