A DAD of a 7-year-old girl is suing a school for $1million after a teacher “cut his daughter’s hair without his permission”.
Jimmy Hoffmeyer, from Michigan, has filed the lawsuit against Mount Pleasant Public Schools, a librarian and a teaching assistant.
It alleges racial discrimination, assault, battery ethnic intimidation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
His biracial daughter Jurnee is now attending another school.
Hoffmeyer claims the girl came home from Ganiard Elementary School in March with most of her hair on one side of head cut off.
His daughter said a classmate had cut her hair while she was on the school bus with scissors stolen from the classroom.
Her parents complained to the school principal at the time and had the girl’s hair styled at a salon.
But two days later she returned home from school with her hair cut on the other side of her head.
“She was crying,” Hoffmeyer explained at the time. “She was afraid of getting in trouble for getting her haircut.
“I asked what happened and said ‘I thought I told you no child should ever cut your hair,’” he continued.
“She said ‘but dad, it was the teacher.’ The teacher cut her hair to even it out.”
The lawsuit, filed in Grand Rapids, alleges the district failed to properly train and supervise its employees.
In July, the district claimed the staffer who had cut the girl’s hair had been reprimanded and an independent third-party investigation had determined that despite “good intentions” of the worker who cut the girl’s hair, doing so without permission from her parents and without the knowledge of district administrators violated school policy.
Two other employees who didn’t report the incident and the staffer have since apologised.
No racial bias was found by a school board investigation but Hoffmeyer has claimed he was never questioned over the incident.
Jimmy said neither he nor his daughter were questioned as part of the investigation.
“Who did they talk to?” Mr Hoffmeyer asked when the results of the investigation were announced. “Did they really do an investigation?”
“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,” Amy Bond, president of the Pleasant Public Schools Board of Education said in a statement. “We will aggressively 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.”