Even if we try our hardest to make the world a safer and more loving place, there is still much work to be done. Although it is unfortunately common for children to be teased or bullied at school for being different, teachers and staff are expected to urge their pupils to treat one another with compassion and respect. Unfortunately, this was not the case for Jurnee Hoffmeyer, a 7-year-old mixed child.
In March 2021, Jurnee went to school in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, and returned home distraught because another girl on the bus had chopped her long, curly hair without permission. Her father brought her to the salon the next day to have her hair trimmed and groomed to their satisfaction, and he made sure to remind her that no student would ever be permitted to touch her hair again. Jurnee’s mother is white and her father, Jimmy Hoffmeyer, is mixed.
Jurnee returned home from school a few days later, distraught because her hair had been trimmed again, but this time by a teacher. Her father was enraged. The story has now been picked up by news sources all around the country, and it has gotten a lot of attention. Jimmy has even gone so far as to file a $1 million lawsuit in September 2021 against the school system, a librarian, and a teacher’s aide over his daughter’s death. He want to see his child receive justice and to raise awareness about the issue.
Make sure to watch the entire video at the conclusion of this post.
Her hair was shaved without her consent.
After his daughter’s hair was chopped without her permission, Jimmy filed a $1 million lawsuit against the Mount Pleasant Public Schools District, a librarian, and a teacher’s aide on Sept. 14, 2021, according to Fox 2. The complaint claims that Jurnee’s constitutional rights were violated due to racial discrimination, ethnic intimidation, intentional infliction of mental distress, assault, and battery.
Jurnee had returned home from Ganiard Elementary School in March 2021 with much of the hair on one side of her head shaved by a classmate on the school bus. Jimmy sent his 7-year-old daughter to the salon to get her hair done after filing a complaint with the school’s principal. The young girl’s hair was chopped again two days later.
“I inquired what occurred and responded, ‘I thought I warned you no child should ever cut your hair,'” Jimmy recounted.
‘But, dad, it was the instructor,’ she explained. Her hair was chopped to make it more even.” Jimmy first denied that race had a role in his daughter’s hair being chopped without her permission, but pointed out that the student and instructor who cut her hair were both white, but Jurnee is mixed. The majority of the students in the school district are Caucasian.
According to Fox 2, the Mount Pleasant Public Schools Board of Education determined that the teacher who chopped Jurnee’s hair had “good intentions,” but that they still broke school rules by cutting the child’s hair without first receiving her parents’ consent.
Despite the fact that the school board performed an inquiry and found no racial prejudice, Jimmy claims the district never questioned him or his daughter about the incident. Jurnee is now enrolled at a different school.
Jurnee’s case isn’t the first one where a teacher has chopped a student’s hair without the parent’s permission recently.
Jonathan Battle is a 17-year-old Indiana adolescent who has been diagnosed with autism. The adolescent had been growing his hair out to attain a certain look once it reached a certain length, according to the Kansas City Star in September 2021. He’d been counting down the days until his next payday so he could get his hair braided at a hairdresser’s.
Unfortunately, Jonathan’s hair was chopped short by a teacher at his high school before this could happen.
Nikki Battle, his mother, told Wish TV: “Jonathan said that his gym teacher shaved his head. Why did you chop his hair, I wonder? ‘I’m asking (Jonathan) this because he wants me to appear fresh,’ he explained. No one consulted with me beforehand, I’m like.”
When Nikki contacted Jonathan’s school, she was assured that the teacher had only the greatest of intentions: “Outside of the classroom, it is not unusual for school professionals to go above and beyond to satisfy the needs of pupils. The employee in issue behaved with the greatest of intentions in order to help the learner.”
Nikki, on the other hand, was not convinced. She brought up the fact that the instructor had cut his face while giving him a haircut, as well as her son’s dissatisfied attitude.
“I’m aching for him as a dad, as a person, as a human being. “I was done when he became so unhappy that he began weeping in the car,” she explained, adding, “That instructor had no right to lay his hands anywhere… on my child’s body.”