Scissors And Nightmares
Even if teachers have authority over their students, asserting their power in this way definitely crosses a big, red line. it was an outrageous and unacceptable move, to say the least. And it certainly goes above and beyond simply yelling at a student.
In this case, this teacher found it perfectly acceptable to pick up a pair of scissors and chop off a student’s hair–which ultimately set in motion a series of events that would make him wish he never did it in the first place.
Getting Ready For School
It was a morning like any other. Jimmy fixed the final butterfly clip on his daughter’s beautiful curls and gave it a quick fluff before sending her off to school.
His daughter giggled as the insect on her hair clip bounced gaily up and down along with her adorable ringlets. Then they ran downstairs where his wife was already pouring cereal and packing the last bits of their girl’s school lunch.
The rest of the day should have been uneventful. There was absolutely nothing out of the ordinary that day, and he and his wife would go to work and put in the hours until it was time to race back home.
They would greet Jurnee with a huge hug and talk about their day. But when their daughter walked through the door, sniffing and wiping her red eyes, Jimmy felt like he had been punched in the gut.
Harsh Bus Prank
Jimmy stood frozen as his wife sprinted forward and ran her fingers through Jurnee’s jagged locks. “What happened?!” he asked. Jurnee sniffed again and sobbed.
“A student cut my hair. He laughed.” He let out a long sigh. It was inevitable that little tots would play hairdresser at least once, but this was crazy. He desperately hoped that this was just a one-time thing but he had no idea what was coming.
Jimmy put his hand over Jurnee’s hair and gave her a big hug. Next time a kid tries to play hair dresser with you, don’t let them cut your hair for real, he advised his little girl.
Jurnee stifled her sobs as she nodded in agreement. They rushed her to the hairdresser, where they all agreed on an asymmetrical cut to conceal the jagged chop until her hair grew out.
Telling The School
When Jimmy got home, he called the school to get to the full story about the incident and maybe request the teachers to pay closer attention to kids playing with scissors–in the most tactful way possible of course. Kids will be kids…that much he understood. Besides, he already had a long talk with Jurnee about not just letting anyone ut their hair.
But the very next day after the incident, Jurnee arrived home with an even shorter haircut. Jagged and lopsided, worse than when the classmate first took a pair of scissors to her her hair.
Why Is It Shorter?!
“What did we tell you?” Jimmy said, “I thought I told you no child should ever cut your hair”. He struggled to control his emotions.
But Jurnee then said, “But dad, it was the teacher.” Both Jimmy and his wife had to sit down. A teacher cut Jurnee’s hair? That was certainly crossing a line, wasn’t it? Did he even hear it right? He asked Jurnee again what happened. Was she really telling the truth?
It was a delicate situation. He didn’t want to make his daughter feel like he didn’t believe her, but he also didn’t want to accuse the school of something so outrageously inappropriate before he had absolute proof.
If it was true, how could no one even ask her parents ahead of time? Jimmy picked up the phone and called the principal.
Not only did they say nothing wrong happened, but the teacher also wasn’t going to face any repercussions.
All they would do was put a small note in her file! Jimmy couldn’t believe it. Phrases like “it’s just hair” and “no big deal, it will grow back” made him want to reach through the phone and punch someone. And the situation only got worse.
From Bad To Worse
For starters, he wasn’t even given an explanation as to why it happened to begin with.
The next day, kids pointed curiously at her cut hair. Jurnee didn’t like the attention and went home crying again. The next phone call would trigger an explosion
Make It Go Away
Jimmy listened with a slack jaw as the principal said, “What can we do to make this go away?”. Jimmy was in disbelief at their flippant response. Were they serious? Did they just want to sweep this under the rug? They still hadn’t even apologized or acknowledged that they did anything wrong.
They stuck firm that the teacher did nothing wrong and that he was overreacting. But they had no idea who they were dealing with.
Jimmy was now beyond livid. Who did they think they were? They acted as if his child’s experience was nothing but a bit of dirt on their shoe.
Jimmy couldn’t let them get away with this. He wanted revenge. He sat fuming after he ended the call. How could he make them admit they were wrong and pay for what they did?
Jimmy knew that if he wanted to make the school pay attention to him and take accountability for what they’ve done, he needed more people to know about what happened there. Jimmy went to social media where he retold the story.
Just as Jimmy predicted, the post went insanely viral. Now, the school was forced to acknowledge the situation.
The public was outraged at the school’s behavior. Many parents commented expressing their sympathy for Jurnee and Jimmy and their anger at the teacher for doing that as well as the school for defending the act.
Only now, with building media attention, did the school finally take action – and it was just as insulting as everything they had done up to that point.
Looking Into The Event
The school was forced to hire a “third party” that did a thorough “investigation” into the matter and ruled that the teacher did violate school policy. However, according to them it wasn’t really that bad and was completely excusable.
The teacher would only get a “last chance warning” because she had been a “model teacher” up until that point. How they determined to deal with it shocked the community.
The “third party” agreed that it would be equally appropriate for the school to give her paid administrative leave! This wasn’t half enough to satisfy Jimmy and his wife. Jimmy watched as his wife balled furious tears.
Even little Jurnee was having nightmares about her hair falling out. This was getting out of control and the story wasn’t even over yet.
No Real Repercussions
Jimmy gripped his morning coffee, reading through the interesting email that had just arrived in his inbox. By now, his story had spread nationwide and agencies in his local area were made even more furious at the lack of real repercussions the teacher faced.
If this case wasn’t made an example of, there was no telling it wouldn’t happen again.
Jimmy read through his emails and found a notification from The National Parents Union. The National Parents Union wanted to help them. The fact that the school was doing nothing, only apologized when the world found out, didn’t matter.
They had broken the rules on a national level. He couldn’t believe what they did next.
Jimmy talked to The National Parents Union. They wanted to set up a Go Fund Me page for him. They agreed with his sentiment that this case needed to be made an example of.
Schools simply couldn’t breach a child’s and parent’s civil rights like this and not have to face any punishment. What happened wasn’t good enough. So they formed a plan.
The union set up a Go Fund Me page, and Jimmy saw the donations pouring in – and all of it would go to a specialized legal team.
When they asked what Jimmy wanted, he didn’t even have to think. “A million dollars,” he said. He knew the number was outrageous, but he also knew that hitting groups in their wallets was the only way to affect change. The school, it seemed, was ready to fight back.
Still Not Sorry
Jimmy and his wife seethed as they read the school’s response.
“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 with a world-class education that prepares them for college and careers.”
The school district wanted to roll the dice with the federal court. So be it. They had transferred Jurnee to a different school. But that didn’t mean they were giving up.
Their little girl’s hair was part of her identity. She loved to share that the color came from her mom and the curls came from her dad. Now, kids at school made fun of her behind her back.
Part Of Her Identity
Yes, her hair would grow back, but the memories would never go away.
Even Jimmy and his wife still had faded memories of school that still jabbed them once in a while. They had no idea who he really was. He was someone not to be underestimated. Why?
Don’t Mess With Parents
He was a loving dad whose baby girl had been hurt his wife was in mama-bear mode, but he was also going to bear his claws and not stop fighting.
The school wasn’t sorry at the start, but they were soon going to regret not picking up the phone and asking them in the first place … as they should have.
Jimmy’s lawsuit stated alleged that the school “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 of behavior given the improper training, customs, procedures, and policies, and the lack of discipline that existed for employees”.
His attorney declared that the incident and the school’s response were “unacceptable” and they had every right to pursue to this case to the very end.