Watch: California Teacher Cuts Students Hair While Singing The National Anthem, Students flee Classroom

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Margaret Gieszinger, 52, was arrested on suspicion of felony child endangerment after she cut one student's hair while singing the National Anthem at University Preparatory High School in Visalia, California, on Wednesday. Tulare County Sheriff's Department

A teacher from California has been arrested after an Instagram video went viral of what appears to be her forcibly cutting one student’s hair while loudly singing the National Anthem.

Margaret Gieszinger, 52, a science teacher at University Preparatory High School, was arrested on suspicion of felony child endangerment on Wednesday, the Visalia Times-Delta reported.

The video obtained by ABC30 shows Gieszinger pointing to a chair and shouting “You’re not done, take a seat!” at a student during first period biology class. She then proceeds to sing the “Star Spangled Banner” while cutting the students hair and tosses a piece of the student’s hair. The teacher then calls out to other students and walks over to a female student where she appears to grab a piece of her hair and attempts to cut it.

Students in the classroom can be seen running out of the classroom as the teacher continues to sing. The school’s principal, Eric Thiessen, told the Visalia Times-Delta all students were safe.  

Lilli Gates, one of Gieszinger's biology students, told the publication this incident does not reflect the teacher they know.  

Screen Shot 2018-12-06 at 3 Margaret Gieszinger, 52, was arrested on suspicion of felony child endangerment after she cut one student's hair while singing the National Anthem at University Preparatory High School in Visalia, California, on Wednesday. Tulare County Sheriff's Department

"When everything was going on I was terrified, and I so badly wanted to blame her. I was scared she was going to come back," Gates told the publication. "What she did to my classmates and I is inexcusable. I am not trying to make excuses for her, I simply ask everyone to reconsider how they view her. She is a loving and kind lady. She is usually all smiles and laughs. This is not the Miss G. we know and love."

Gieszinger’s bail has been set to $100,000. Newsweek has reached out to the College of the Sequoias Police Department for comment on the incident but did not hear back in time for publication.

The Tulare County Office of Education released a statement following the Gieszinger’s arrest, saying that counselors have been sent to the University Preparatory High School campus and are working closely with the College of the Sequoias Police Department to investigate the incident.


“We take very seriously the safety of the students in classrooms and on the COS campus. We move decisively when questions of inappropriate and unprofessional conduct are brought to the attention of UPHS administration. In this instance, we promptly removed Ms. Gieszinger from her classroom and worked closely with the COS Police Department,” the statement sent to Newsweek read. “We are reviewing all available information and will take the most severe employment action appropriate. Ms. Gieszinger will not return to her UPHS classroom.”

A new substitute teacher has been placed in the classroom for the rest of the semester until a replacement teacher is hired, the Tulare County Office of Education said.

A similar incident occurred in October after an Albuquerque school district said a teacher who cut off a Native American student’s braid and called another a “bloody Indian” no longer works for the district. The incident occurred at Cibola High School in New Mexico on October 31, and the unnamed teacher and the students were all wearing costumes.

The teacher, who was wearing a New Orleans Voodoo queen outfit, allegedly asked the student if they were “a bloody Indian,’” KRQE reported. Another Native American student’s hair was also cut by the teacher, according to the news station.

“I didn't expect to hear this type of thing from my teacher, I just came to school to learn," McKenzie Johnson reportedly told the board, KRQE reported.

Update: This story was updated to include a statement from the Tulare County Office of Education. 

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