Grand Rapids, MI

Father sues school for $1 million after teacher cuts daughter’s hair: “Racial discrimination”

Amy Christie

A Michigan father has filed a lawsuit against the school district where his daughter used to go to classes. He claims that her constitutional rights were breached when a teacher went ahead and cut her hair without asking for parental consent.

What are the details?

Jimmy Hoffmeyer is alleging that his daughter, Jurnee, was racially discriminated against. He also thinks the teacher inflicted the emotional distress intentionally, according to Insider.

The complaint was brought against Mount Pleasant Public Schools, a librarian, and a teaching assistant and it will be considered in the federal court in Grand Rapids.

The incident happened in March when one of the girl’s classmates cut out her long curly hair without permission. Her father complained to the principal and then took his daughter to a salon where she got an asymmetrical haircut. Only two days after that, Jurnee came home with almost all her hair cut off, as the lawsuit claims.

"I asked what happened and said 'I thought I told you no child should ever cut your hair. She said, ‘but dad, it was the teacher.' The teacher cut her hair to even it out,” the father shared about the incident.

The complaint says that the district “failed to properly train, monitor, direct, discipline, and supervise their employees, and knew or should have known that the employees would engage in the complained behavior given the improper training, customs, procedures, and policies, and the lack of discipline that existed for employees."

In July the school board announced that an investigation conducted by a third party had come to the conclusion that the school staff was not motivated by any racial bias. It was recommended that the teacher who cut the girl’s hair be disciplined, but she kept her job.

Hoffmeyer said that neither he nor his daughter was ever interviewed for the investigation.

“We are confident that the facts will prevail given our district's appropriate response to the incident and the findings of the third-party investigation that was conducted. We will defend against these baseless allegations in court and will not allow this to distract us from our mission to provide every child a world-class education that prepares them for college and careers,” the school board president stated as a reaction to the lawsuit.

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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

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