A dad has transferred his biracial seven-year-old daughter to another school after her hair was cut on two separate occasions without parental consent.
When Jurnee Hoffmeyer arrived home from Ganiard Elementary School with her hair cut on one side, she told her father, Jimmy Hoffmeyer, that a classmate had chopped her hair with scissors while she was on the school bus.
A complaint was made to the school principal and Jurnee was taken to the hairdressers to have her hair styled into an asymmetrical cut. However, just two days afterwards, Jurnee came home with the hair on the other side of her head cut away.
Hoffmeyer told AP:
She was crying. She was afraid of getting in trouble for getting her hair cut.
[…] I asked what happened and said ‘I thought I told you no child should ever cut your hair’. She said ‘but dad, it was the teacher.’ The teacher cut her hair to even it out.
According to Hoffmeyer, the school contacted the family after the bus incident and explained that ‘the little girl stole the scissors off the teacher’s desk, and they were going to talk to the parents and deal with it accordingly’.
After the second incident, the principal told Hoffmeyer that the most severe punishment the white library teacher who cut Jurnee’s hair would receive would be a note in her work file.
In a statement released Tuesday, April 20, District Superintendent Jennifer Verleger confirmed Hoffmeyer’s story, noting that Jurnee’s hair was cut without permission from her parents and without consultation with school administrators.
Verleger, who also confirmed that Jurnee’s class teacher had been aware of the library teacher’s plans for the hair cut, said:
Regardless of their good intentions, these actions were unacceptable and show a lack of judgment on the part of our two employees. Both are being reviewed for further disciplinary actions in accordance without school policies and procedures.
Going forward, Hoffmeyer is now working alongside the National Parents Union (NPU), a national network of parent organisations and grassroots activists that works towards improving the quality of life for children.