School system condemns teacher assistant's decision to cut girl's hair

  • Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 12:01 a.m.
    UPDATED: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 5:19 p.m.

The Rowan-Salisbury School System released a statement this afternoon condemning a teacher assistant's decision to cut a Millbridge Elementary School student's hair.
"School employees, while responsible for the well-being of students at school, must not make decisions for students in place of their parents," district spokeswoman Rita Foil wrote in an email to the Post.
Monica Becker, a teacher assistant and bus driver at the school, cut 7-year-old Jesslynn Poole's hair Sept. 21.
Jessica Stirewalt, Jesslynn's mother, told the Post Becker snipped about 8 inches from her daughter's long brown locks. †
"Teachers and other school employees often are called upon to help students in ways that go beyond just classroom instruction," Foil wrote. "You will find many cases where teachers and other staff help students obtain school supplies, clean clothes, and other essentials. †
"However, a decision to cut a studentís hair, regardless of how well intentioned, clearly belongs to the studentís family and parents."
Foil said Millbridge Principal Christopher Smith had school staff contact Stirewalt immediately following the haircutting incident.
"The principal was preparing to call the parent himself shortly afterward when the parent called him first," she said. "The principal apologized and confirmed that school staff should not have cut a studentís hair without permission."
Read the complete story in Wednesday's Post.

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