The parents of 7-year-old Jurnee Hoffmeyer filed a lawsuit against her former school as well as teachers. The family claims that the mixed-race child was subjected to racial discrimination after her hair was cut by her teacher without permission from her parents. The child has since been transferred to another school while the legal proceedings against the school district and school staff continue.

Jurnee’s father Jimmy Hoffmeyer, who is mixed race, blames the school for showing racial insensitivity. On Tuesday, Sept. 14 the $1 million lawsuit against Mount Pleasant Public Schools was filed in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It alleges that the child’s constitutional rights were violated and that she faced racial discrimination, ethnic intimidation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and assault and battery.

The child’s ordeal began on March 24 when the child returned home with her long, curly hair chopped up. The child told her parents that a student cut her hair with scissors while they were on the school bus, MLive reported. She said that the white student had cut her hair without her permission. Raising a complaint with the school, the child’s parents took her to a hairdresser to get her a haircut.

Jurnee had an asymmetrical haircut to balance off the haircut the student had given her. Two days after the incident, the child returned home from school once more with her hair cut. She informed her alarmed parents that this time it was not a student who cut her hair. She revealed that school staff had cut her hair nearly down to her scalp. As per the lawsuit filed, it was the school’s librarian, with the assistance of another teacher, who cut Jurnee’s hair without her parent’s permission.

The parents raised a complaint with the school and moved the child to a different school. Following the incident Mount Pleasant Public Schools Board of Education conducted an investigation, USA Today reported. The board claims that the teacher responsible had been reprimanded and had apologized. The board also noted that two other staff members were aware of the incident but had not reported it. They too issued an apology over the incident.

Jimmy claims that neither he nor his daughter had been questioned as a part of the investigation by the school board.

Representational image. Pixabay.

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