US Lawsuit seeks $1M after Michigan teacher cuts girl's hair
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MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) — The father of a 7-year-old Michigan girl whose hair was cut by a teacher without her parents’ permission has filed a $1 million lawsuit against the school district, a librarian and a teacher's assistant.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in federal court in Grand Rapids against Mount Pleasant Public Schools,. It alleges that the biracial girl’s constitutional rights were violated, racial discrimination, ethnic intimidation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and assault and battery.
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Jimmy Hoffmeyer, who is Black and White, said that in March thatfrom Ganiard Elementary with much of the hair on one side of her head cut. Jurnee said a classmate used scissors to cut her hair on a school bus, Hoffmeyer told The Associated Press in April.
Two days after the bus incident — and after complaining to the principal and having Jurnee’s hair styled at a salon with an asymmetrical cut to make the differing lengths less obvious — Jurnee arrived home with the hair on the other side cut.
“I asked what happened and said ‘I thought I told you no child should ever cut your hair,’” Hoffmeyer said at the time. “She said ‘but dad, it was the teacher.’ The teacher cut her hair to even it out.”
Jurnee's mother is white. Hoffmeyer said the girl who cut Jurnee’s hair and the teacher who cut it are white.
Texas teacher's legacy of kindness lives on after her death
DALLAS (AP) — Searching for a way to honor Texas teacher Zelene Blancas after her death late last year from COVID-19, a fellow educator over 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers) away relied on the kindness of others to get a painted, heart-shaped rock to her school. After almost five months on the road, being transported by a handful of people, the rock arrived as school started this month at El Paso's Dr. Sue A. Shook Elementary, where Blancas taught and was remembered by her principal as someone who “embodied kindness.
The district “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,” according to the lawsuit.
The Associated Press left messages Thursday seeking comment from the district, which is located about 150 miles (241 kilometers) northwest of Detroit. About 4% of Mount Pleasant’s 25,000 residents are Black, according to the U.S. Census.
In July,the staffer who cut Jurnee’s hair was reprimanded and that an independent third-party investigation determined that despite “good intentions” of the worker who cut the girl’s hair, doing so without permission from her parents and without the knowledge of district administrators violated school policy.
Two other employees were aware of the incident but didn’t report it. All three employees have apologized, the board said.
The school board said the independent investigation found no racial bias and included interviews with district personnel, students and families and a review of video and photos, including posts on social media. District administrators also performed an internal review of the incident.
But Hoffmeyer said the district never questioned him or Jurnee. She now attends another school.
To Fill Teaching Vacancies, Some Districts Offer Thousands in Signing Bonuses .
Desperate school districts are offering as much as $6,000 for new teachers in an attempt to fill vacancies as the school year starts again.Mount Diablo Unified School District, which serves 28,000 students east of San Francisco, is offering $5,000 signing bonuses for speech pathologists and $1,500 for paraeducators who help students with learning needs, Superintendent Adam Clark said.