Michigan Teacher Cuts Hair of Jurnee Hoffmeyer, 7, Without Permission, Sparking Outrage

Jurnee Hoffmeyer, 7, arrived home from a Michigan school last month with an unwanted haircut from her teacher, sparking outrage from her father and the community alike.

The girl's hair was originally cut by a classmate on the school bus but was cut again by a teacher at Ganiard Elementary School days later to "even it out."

Jimmy Hoffmeyer said his biracial daughter came home on March 24 with much of the hair on one side cut after another child grabbed on a pair of scissors.

Hoffmeyer took his little girl to a hair salon to make the differing lengths less obvious but was enraged to discover that two days later, a teacher had also taken to his daughter's hair.

I know alot of yall want to kno more but this is all I can say at the moment but will update when I can...just want to keep ppl aware in the mean time.

"She was crying. She was afraid of getting in trouble for getting her hair cut," Hoffmeyer told the Associated Press. "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."

The father said he found the explanations he has received from the school principal and the Mount Pleasant Public Schools District disappointing.

He said he was told the school would talk to the parents of the classmate involved in the first haircut and that a note would be placed in the teacher's work file.

"She said she didn't have the authority to do anything," Hoffmeyer said in reference to a conversation he had with the Ganiard Elementary School principal. "She kept asking me what she could do to make it go away."

He added that he also received a call from the school district's superintendent about a week later offering to have "I'm sorry" cards mailed to the family but "got mad and hung up" on the call.

"I'm not one to try to make things about race," said Hoffmeyer, who is Black and white. "I've pretty much grown up with only white people, myself."

"Our kind of hair, you can't just wet down and cut it because and that's when I feel like they should have, even if they were trying to do it in the kindest of their heart, once they seen the outcome, they should have been like, yeah we messed up," he told ABC12. "We should probably call him and let him know what just happened."

"After that teacher cut her hair, she was so embarrassed. So embarrassed. Because she had to go back to class like that," he added.

Hoffmeyer said he filed an incident report with the Mount Pleasant Police Department, but as of Monday no officer had contacted him to follow up on the complaint.

The father of three young daughters says he has taken Jurnee out of the school and is considering enrolling her in a private school.

"We've had to take her to the doctor because she hasn't been eating. She's having trouble sleeping now and always wants to be with us," Hoffmeyer told the Black Wall Street Times, which states Jurnee is in first grade.

"All of this because her hair didn't look how they thought it should, wasn't done to their standards. If you look at pictures of her before this happened, you can just see her spark and her energy. Now it's like it's just gone."

Hoffmeyer is working with the National Parents Union, a national network of parent organizations and activists that advocate to improve the quality of life for children.

The union has called on the school to issue a formal apology to the family "for violating their rights and cutting Jurnee's hair without parental advisement or consent" and "formal consequences to the educators and staff who decided to act without parental permission, guidance or consent."

Newsweek has contacted the Mount Pleasant Public Schools District, Ganiard Elementary School and Jimmy Hoffmeyer for comment.

School Bus
File photo: Students walk to board a school bus in Manhattan's East Village. Jurnee Hoffmeyer, 7, arrived home from a Michigan school last month with a haircut from a classmate on the school bus and, later, another from her teacher. Mario Tama/Getty Images