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'He was very upset' Lawrence teacher cuts student's hair without parents' consent

Posted at 9:40 PM, Sep 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-24 10:39:30-04

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana mother was shocked this week when her son came home from school with his hair buzzed off.

Nikki Battle says a teacher gave her son a haircut after her 17-year-old was bullied by other students about his long locks.

Jonathan Battle-Hayum, 17, usually has long hair.

The teen, who also has autism, typically enjoys going to his classes at Lawrence Central High School, Battle said. But after the incident this week, she's trying working to transfer him so he can finish up his senior year elsewhere.

“He was very upset,” Battle said.

Jonathan says he was being bullied by classmates over his long hair and clothes.

“A couple of kids don’t like my style,” he said.

The teen says a teacher saw what was happening and brought in clippers on Tuesday to give him a haircut.

Jonathan says he shaved his head, eyebrows, and mustache.

Battle says she was not informed of the bullying or the plans to cut her son’s hair until after it happened.

“You could have called me on the phone, you could have sent me an email, you should have sent him home with a note,” said Battle.

The mother also says the reason her son keeps his hair long is due to religious beliefs.

“We are Hebrew Israelite, you are not supposed to be cutting on his hair or nothing at all or anything,” said Battle.

Battle says the Principal and the Dean of the school both called to apologize. The district also issued a statement:

The MSD of Lawrence Township and Lawrence Central High School take the allegations made extremely seriously and immediately investigated upon notification. It is not uncommon for school personnel to go above and beyond to meet the needs of students outside of the classroom. The staff member in question acted with the best of intentions to support the student.

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