Michigan father angry after college student cut daughter’s hair, only for library teacher to cut peace
A seven-year-old Michigan girl was pulled from elementary school after a student cut part of her hair without permission, only for a teacher to cut the rest days later in a separate incident.
Jurnee Hoffmeyer, who is biracial, was riding the bus on March 24 when a classmate with scissors, who is white, cut most of her hair on one side of her head, she alleged to her father.
Jimmy Hoffmeyer filed a complaint with the director of Ganiard Elementary in Mount Pleasant.
He discovered that the girl who cut his daughter’s hair took a pair of scissors from a teacher’s desk. The school planned to discuss the incident with the perpetrator’s parents.
This undated photo of Jimmy Hoffmeyer shows his daughter, seven-year-old Jurnee Hoffmeyer, after a classmate and teacher cut her hair on several occasions. (Jimmy Hoffmeyer via AP)
It is not clear if there have been any incidents between Jurnee and the girl who cut her hair before.
‘I wrote it down because it was a child and you don’t think of serious consequences related to a child,’ Hoffmeyer told WJRT
Hoffmeyer also took his daughter to an asymmetrical styling salon that day, so that Jurnee’s classmate’s amateur haircut didn’t stand out as much.
But on March 26, Jurnee came home from school crying with another haircut. This time, the school’s library teacher, who is also white, had it cut, according to Hoffmeyer.
“ She (Jurnee) was afraid of getting in trouble for getting her hair cut, ” Hoffmeyer told the Associated Press
Jurnee Hoffmeyer, who is biracial, is pictured before the unapproved haircuts took place
‘I asked what happened and said,’ I thought I told you that no child should ever cut your hair. She said, “But Daddy, it was the teacher.” The teacher cut her hair to make it even. ‘
Hoffmeyer contacted the school and was told that at most the library teacher would receive no more discipline than a note in her work file.
Hoffmeyer claimed the director was trying to make the incident go away without taking more serious disciplinary action.
“She kept asking me what she could do to make it go away,” Hoffmeyer said of the principal.
Jimmy Hoffmeyer took to Facebook to share news of the incident with his daughter
The district superintendent called Hoffmeyer a week later and offered to send him apology cards, a call he angrily hung up.
Meanwhile, the library teacher has not been publicly identified.
Hoffmeyer eventually reported the matter to the local police, although they have not yet acted on his complaint.
Hoffmeyer is biracial, as are his three daughters, while his wife, Christie, is white.
Jimmy Hoffmeyer is biracial, as are his three daughters, while his wife Christie is white
A meeting of the school board about the incident took place Monday evening, although it is unclear whether there was a solution to the matter.
‘I just finished the school board meeting … I have to say I couldn’t be more proud and grateful for all the love and support my family has received from our community and others around the world,’ posted Christie Hoffmeyer on Facebook .
At the school board meeting, one person commented on the seriousness of cutting the hair of a black or biracial child.
“ I feel like you don’t quite understand her impact on the black community or how serious this issue is actually going, ” one person said at the board meeting, according to UpNorthLive
“If you could do diversity training, I think it would be very helpful, especially to understand the context of this and why people are so upset about it.”
However, the chair of the school board suggests that some reports of the haircutting incidents are inaccurate, without saying how.
“I’m not one to try to make things about race,” Jimmy Hoffmeyer told the Associated Press. “I grew up almost exclusively with whites myself.”
Hoffmeyer has since moved his daughter from one school to another and is considering moving her to a private school.
The school has yet to publicly apologize or comment on the incident. The National Parents Union is now advocating on behalf of the Hoffmeyer family.
“I wish they would live up to their responsibilities,” Hoffmeyer told WJRT. “As if, for the most part, we asked for a public apology to let Jurnee know that they do indeed acknowledge that it was wrong and that it should never have happened and that she should never have experienced anything like this.”
The Crown Act was reenacted in Michigan in February, making it illegal to discriminate based on hair texture or styles such as braids, locks, and twists.
Pictured: Ganiard Elementary School, where Jurnee went to school. Since then she has been in a different school and her parents are waiting for a public apology from the school