Aggrieved father files $1m suit after teacher cut biracial daughter's hair

The suit alleges that the biracial girl’s constitutional rights were violated, racial discrimination, ethnic intimidation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and assault and battery.
Aggrieved father files $1m suit after teacher cut biracial daughter's hair
Jurnee Hoffmeyer, 7, before (R) and after (L) a classmate and a teacher cut her hair on separate occasions.Jimmy Hoffmeyer / AP

A disgruntled American dad, Jimmy Hoffmeyer, has filed a $1 million lawsuit after a teacher allegedly cut the hair of his seven-year-old daughter, Jurnee Joffmeyer, without his permission.

According to Today, Hoffmeyer filed the lawsuit on Tuesday against Mount Pleasant Public Schools' district, a librarian and a teacher in a federal court in Grand Rapids.

The suit alleges that the biracial girl’s constitutional rights were violated, racial discrimination, ethnic intimidation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and assault and battery.

Hoffmeyer averred that he had complained to the principal and had Jurnee’s hair styled at a salon with an asymmetrical cut to make the differing lengths less obvious.

Two days after, 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.”

Jimmy whose wife and Jurnee's mother is white said the girl who cut Jurnee’s hair and the teacher who cut it are white.

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.

However, Mount Pleasant Public Schools Board of Education president, Amy Bond, said Thursday that the district has not received the complaint and stating that the allegations in court are baseless.

This comes after the school said it hired a third-party investigator 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.

“We are confident that the facts will prevail given our district’s appropriate and aggressive response to the incident and the findings of the third-party investigation that was conducted,” Bond said in a statement.

“We will aggressively defend against these baseless allegations in court and will not allow this to distract us from our mission to provide every child a world-class education that prepares them for college and careers.”

Meanwhile, the teacher who cut Jurnee's hair was reprimanded for violating school policy by ignoring the parent's permission.

However, the independent third-party investigation determined that the worker had “good intentions.”

Two other employees were aware of the incident but didn’t report it. All three employees have apologized, the board said.

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