A School District Employee Cut A Biracial Girl’s Hair Without Her Parents’ Permission
At a young age, Black women are often given the instruction to not allow “anyone to touch your hair” by their mothers or fathers. The direction is often given as a sort of shield. Don’t let anyone touch your hair can mean ‘don’t let anyone ruin the hard work I put into it’ but more underlining is the notion to not allow anyone to make you feel “other” because your hair is different from their own.
A father from Michigan has a new reason for delivering this message to his 7-year-old daughter.
On March 24, Jimmy Hoffmeyer’s daughter Jurnee came home from her school, Ganiard Elementary, with the right side of her hair sheered off by a classmate. According to USA Today, Jurnee’s schoolmate cut off two to three inches of Jurnee’s hair. That same day, Hoffmeyer brought Jurnee to a local hair salon to fix her hair. The stylist cut Jurnee’s hair in an asymmetrical cut and also provided the little girl with free haircuts until her hair finally grew back in length.
All seemed to have been fixed.
Then, two days later, Jurnee returned home from school with her hair cut on the other side.
Jurnee told her father that the school’s library employee cut off the other side. In an attempt to get answers, Hoffmeyer attempted to contact his daughter’s school over the phone. After several calls and no answers, he contacted the police.
According to USA Today, the Mount Pleasant Police Department told the oultet that Hoffmeyer contacted them but never filed a police report.
Hoffmeyer went onto tell USA Today that an assistant at Jurnee’s school apologized to him for the incident before explaining that the school’s principal would not be able to speak with him until after spring break because he was out of the office. “On April 5, he said he received a call from the principal and was told the librarian would receive marks on her report but did not have the authority to do anything further,” reports USA Today. “Hoffmeyer said he received a call 45 minutes later from the district’s superintendent, Jennifer Verleger, who offered to send Jurnee an apology card in the mail.”
In response to the offer, Hoffmeyer said “An apology card to a 7-year-old who is humiliated and has to be around her classmates like this?”
The Mount Pleasant School District released a statement to parents that claimed “a student asked for her hair to be cut both times, first by a classmate and later by a library employee.”
The released letter was signed by Verlege and stated that Jurnee’s teacher knew that the library employee planned to cut her hair.
Both Jurnee’s teacher and the school librarian apologized for their actions.
Hoffmeyer, who is biracial told USA Today that “his classmate who cut his daughter’s hair and the librarian were both white, but he is trying hard not to make this situation about race. Jurnee’s mother is white.”
“It’s hard to come to any decision when you don’t have answers to why it was done,” Hoffmeyer told the outlet before revealing that he unenrolled Jurnee from her elementary school and she is now attending Vowles Elementary School.
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