Essence.com reported about the girl whose teacher cut off her braid as a disciplinary measure.
Today, ESSENCE.com has an exclusive interview with the girl’s mother. Here is a sneak peek:
ESSENCE.com: Tell us what happened.
HELEN CUNNINGHAM: My daughter went to school. It was the Monday after Thanksgiving and she had gotten her hair beaded over the vacation. She was twirling her beads in her hair and her teacher told me that she advised her to not twirl her beads. Lamya kept doing it and her teacher told her if she kept doing it, she will hold her back from recess. She told me that she did hold her back from recess and after recess Lamya still kept twirling her beads. This is when the teacher called her to the front of classroom.
My daughter told me that her teacher told her that she was going to give her some candy. When she came up to the desk, the teacher grabbed the scissors and grabbed a braid and cut it off. She then told her, if you keep doing it, “I am going to cut some more.” My daughter started crying because her classmates were laughing at her.
ESSENCE.com: What was your first reaction?
CUNNINGHAM: When my daughter came home from school she said, “Mom, my teacher cut my hair.” I didn’t believe her because I couldn’t see a teacher doing a thing like that. So I said, “I am going to call the school tomorrow and find out what’s going.”
I called the school and talked to the school social worker. She said, “I haven’t heard anything like that… a teacher cutting off a kid’s hair. You might want to call the teacher and ask her if it’s true.” So, I went to the teacher’s room in person. She admitted that she was frustrated that my daughter would not stop twirling her hair. She also told me that she held her from recess because she kept playing with her hair. And then, she said, “She kept doing it so I cut her hair.” She said she just cut the end of her hair. I looked at my daughter’s hair, because it is very long, and was like, “that’s at least three inches gone from her head.” And she said, “Well, I cut it and she said if she keeps doing it, then I will cut some more,” while standing there like what she did is not wrong.
ESSENCE.com: What do you think should happen to the teacher?
CUNNINGHAM: Actually, Milwaukee Public Schools (MTS) have not done anything against the teacher. I called the Milwaukee Child Welfare Bureau and I went to the police department and they did give her a $175 citation for disorderly conduct.
For the rest of the interview, go to ESSENCE.com.