MT. PLEASANT, Mich. — A father in Michigan is speaking out after his bi-racial daughter’s hair was cut at school on two separate occasions without the family’s permission.
Jimmy Hoffmeyer told The Associated Press and WJRT that 7-year-old Jurnee’s hair was cut three times over the course of a week: first by a classmate on the bus ride home, second by a hairstylist to try and fix that cut, and third by her teacher.
After the initial cut, Hoffmeyer says a stylist at a salon gave his daughter an asymmetrical cut to make the differing lengths of hair less obvious. And when the girl returned to school, the dad says the teacher had “cut her hair to even it out.”
Following the third cut, Hoffmeyer told WJRT that his daughter was in tears and was “so embarrassed” because she had to go back to class missing large parts of her hair.
When Hoffmeyer contacted the girl’s school, Ganiard Elementary, he says the principal told him the most that could happen to the teacher was putting a note in her work file. He told the AP that the principal kept asking him “what she could do to make it go away.”
Hoffmeyer says he also spoke to the superintendent of Mt. Pleasant Public Schools over the phone, who allegedly offered to have “I’m sorry” cards mailed to the family. The dad says he then got mad and hung up.
Now, Hoffmeyer has moved his daughter to a different school and is considering taking the girl out of the district completely, possibly enrolling her in a private school, the AP reports. The father is also working with the National Parents Union, which advocates to improve the quality of life for children.
The AP and WJRT have both attempted to reach out to the district for comment, but neither have gotten a response. The Morning Sun reports the Mt. Pleasant School Board called the reports “inaccurate” during a Monday night meeting.