In central California, a high school teacher was arrested after forcibly cutting the hair of one of her students while singing the national anthem.
Margaret Gieszinger, 52, was arrested after videos that circulated online showed a student at University Preparatory High School sitting in a chair at the front of the class while Gieszinger cuts his hair.
In the video, Gieszinger, a science and chemistry teacher, can be heard singing “Star Spangled Banner” while cutting the boy’s hair and tossing it behind her.
The reason why Gieszinger cut the student’s hair was not immediately known.
After cutting the boy’s hair, the 52-year-old teacher grabs another student’s hair. This time, from a girl.
The video shows that the students ran out of the classroom before Gieszinger was able to snip the hair of another student.
Police Chief Kevin Mizner told the Visalia Times-Delta that officers responded to the school after receiving reports of child endangerment that involves a teacher and a “pair of scissors”.
Rob Herman, a spokesman for the Tulare County Office of Education, said that counselors were made available the following day to support the students at the public high school.
“We take very seriously the safety of the students in classrooms and on the COS campus,” Herman said in an email.
Herman added that Gieszinger “will not return to her classroom,” but did not confirm if she was fired.
Based on the state’s Commission on Teacher Credentialing, Gieszinger’s teaching credential was suspended for 14 days in 2016 “for immoral or unprofessional conduct”. The record also showed another suspension for two weeks in 2017 but the commission did not specify a reason.
Lilli Gates, one of Gieszinger’s students, said that the incident was out of character for the teacher.
“When everything was going on I was terrified, and I so badly wanted to blame her,” Gates said. “She is a loving and kind lady. She is usually all smiles and laughs. This is not the Miss G. we know and love.”
Gieszinger is currently being held on $100,000 bail.