A father in Michigan is taking legal action after his 7-year-old daughter’s hair was cut by a school employee without his permission.
The father, Jimmy Hoffmeyer, filed a $1 million lawsuit against Mount Pleasant Public Schools, a librarian, and a teacher’s assistant on Tuesday, according to reports from MLive.com. In the lawsuit, he alleges racial discrimination, ethnic intimidation, and that his daughter’s constitutional rights were violated.
Hoffmeyer previously told USA Today that his biracial daughter, Jurnee, had to get an asymmetrical hairstyle after a classmate cut one side of her hair by a few inches. Just a few days later, his daughter returned home with the other side of her hair cut, Hoffmeyer explained, adding that he later learned an employee of the school was the one responsible.
Not that we really need to clarify, but, unsurprisingly, both the student and employee who cut Jurnee’s hair are white, according to the Associated Press.
“The Defendants 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,” the lawsuit alleges.
In a previous statement by the school, they said that Jurnee “grew unhappy and dissatisfied with the way her hair looked after the other student cut it and asked a school library employee to help fix her hair during a classroom visit to the library.” According to the school, Jurnee’s teacher was also made aware of the situation.
The statement continued, “Regardless of their good intentions, these actions are unacceptable and show a lack of judgement on the part of our two employees. Both employees have admitted their actions and apologized.”
In July, following a third-party investigation, the school said the employee who cut Jurnee’s hair “will be placed on a ‘last chance’ agreement during which time any future violations will likely result in termination.” The school also said the investigation found no evidence of racial bias…..so…..yeah.
Following Hoffmeyer filing a lawsuit, the school district released a statement saying they are “confident that the facts will prevail.”
“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,” read a statement from Mount Pleasant Public Schools Board of Education president Amy Bond, per the AP.