Teacher Cuts 7-Year-Old's Hair Without Bothering to Ask Mom

Say What!? 114

scissorsSometimes I hate my daughter's long hair. I hate the fights over brushing it. And washing it. And putting it up on gym class days. But I'm with the mom of the 7-year-old girl with down syndrome who got a haircut from a random adult at her school.

No one is going to put a pair of scissors near my daughter's hair without my permission. You got that? Especially not an assistant teacher at her school!

Poor Jessica Stirewalp got a call from a staffer at daughter Jesslyn's school. The woman wanted Jessica to know the girl's hair had gotten in her food. No surprise there: my 7-year-old does not have down syndrome, and I'm forever telling her to push her blond locks behind her ears. 

But then came the shocker. The woman had cut 4 inches of Jessyln's hair. Already! 

Hasn't this woman ever heard of soap and water? Maybe some detangler and a brush? You don't have to cut a kid's hair to get food out of it! At the very least she could have called Mom and asked her what she wanted done. If Mom said pull out the scissors, then OK, it's time to pull out the scissors.

Hair is such a personal thing for people. It's a part of our bodies. It's so visible. Don't people realize kids can have the same feelings? Just because this girl has down syndrome doesn't mean she was any less connected to what grows out of her head!

I can't help thinking about my kid in all of this. She's the exact same age as Jesslyn, and just like Jesslyn, she loves her hair. My daughter doesn't even like it when people joke about her shaving her head like I do every year. As her mother, I think it's important to take her feelings about her hair into consideration because it's her body. 

And when it comes to deciding what is done to my kid's body, I want to have the final say. Don't you?

What would you do if someone at your child's school cut their hair? Is it a big deal or is it "just" hair?



Image via Yandle/Flickr

back to school, independence, special needs


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lasombrs lasombrs

That would be a big deal to me. It is just hair and it will just grow back. But my son with autism has long hair for a reason. It freaks him out at the thought of anyone touching his head and if you try to cut it (anyone who tries not just me) stabs him somehow because he moves so much struggling and mil cut his face when she tried without permission once. Its a traumatizing event for him with people he knows. I can only imagine how horrible it would be if someone at school tried. He always has food in his hair. You just have to comb it out. Not something a teacher should ever ever do IMO.

nonmember avatar HS

The school should have called mom first. They were way out of line here. My mom would have been livid and the TA would probably be jobless now. I wasn't allowed to cut my hair growing up for moral/religious reasons (dad felt girls shouldn't alter their bodies in any way and be extremly modest). Having some TA at school cut my hair would not have flown well at all!

Mommi... MommietoJB

@HS good point

What if this would of violated this families religous beliefs? It sounds mean and done out of frustration to me to actually cut a students hair because some food got on it. These are special needs children, if you cant be patient and compassionate dont go into special education.


This is terrible. Downs syndrome or not, this is the wrong thing to do. I can think of only a few reasons that you'd need to cut hair but getting food in it isn't anywhere near the top of the list. This is really sad. That poor little girl.

Rachel Schiller

I would be angry and tbere would be all kinds of trouble.

And unless the TA moonlights as a stylist I would insist my child be taken to a proper salon and the hair fixed at the expense of the TA.

.LoVe... .LoVeMyBuG.

I'm speechless. Who in their right mind would think it's ok to cut a child's hair without the parent's permission? And at school? Last time I checked schools weren't beauty salons. It's called soap and water, or just get most of it out with a wet rag until the child goes home... really not that difficult. I would be pissed. 

the4m... the4mutts

My 6yr old daughter has hair down to her butt crack. She only let's me TRIM it every few months, and mostly just her bangs. If someone attempted to cut her hair, they might get bit, or kicked in the face. I am the only one she trusts to keep her mane in check.

But even if it were one of my other 3 kids, who couldn't give a shit less about their hair, I, as their mother, would be pissed! It is not the school's job to decide what to do about hair, clothing stains, wardrobe malfunctions, or ANYTHING personal with my childs physical appearance.

That TA would be out of a job, or my kid would be out of that school.

butte... butterflyfreak

I'm with the other posters. Yeah, it's just hair but it's HER hair. I would be very upset if my kid came home from school with shorter hair than she left home with. We cut her hair last summer (she was chewing on her hair and we wanted to break her of the habit) and are working on growing it out now. She wanted her hair cut at the time, and now she wants her hair to be long. I'm a firm believer in letting kids decide on their own hair. My stepmom would never allow my sister to cut her hair when she was growing up. First chance my sister got, she chopped it all of. I think she was 13 or 14 at the time. My stepmother was so upset but I really feel that it was her own fault because she would never listen to my sister when she said she wanted it cut. My sister's hair has been fairly short ever since. Maybe if she had been allowed to cut her hair when she was younger, she would have gotten over it and decided to grow it back out. Who knows, maybe she's just one of those women who would have always preferred short hair.

Santeria Marie Samayoa

I have 2 girls 12 11 years old I have never cut their hair I brush it and braid every night and if even a relative tried this I would lose my head I would have been at that school so fast it would have made their heads spin yes I freely admit as the hubby says I am a crazy mom my best friend is a special education teacher that goes beyond the scope of teaching and I would sue her the school and the board my father is also a retired detective and this is a form of assault shameful

bills... billsfan1104

What is ironic is that you dont want anyone touching your daughters hair, but you think its fine and dandy to let a school dispense abortion and birth control pills and then say that we should be happy about it.

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