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Father of girl whose hair was cut at school files $1M lawsuit

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MT. PLEASANT, Mich. (WNEM) — The father of a 7-year-old biracial girl whose hair was cut twice at school filed a $1 million lawsuit for racial discrimination and violations of constitutional rights.

The lawsuit states that Mt. Pleasant Public Schools in Michigan is not entitled to qualified or governmental immunity.

It contains eight counts against the school district including:

  • Violation of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution Violation of due process and the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
  • Deliberate indifference to the constitutional rights of the plaintiffs
  • Racial discrimination in violation of the Michigan Civil Rights Act
  • Ethnic intimidation in violation of Michigan Penal Code 750.147b
  • Intentional infliction of emotional distress
  • Assault and battery
  • Violation of Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

A student cut Jurnee Hoffmeyer’s hair while they were on a school bus on March 24. Her father, Jimmy Hoffmeyer, took her to a salon to correct the cut.

A few days later, Jurnee returned home with nearly all of her curly locks cut off. Jurnee’s library teacher at Ganiard Elementary School cut off her hair with help from another staff member without the parents’ consent, according to the lawsuit.

The library teacher said Jurnee asked her to fix her haircut, the Mt. Pleasant School District said. A full review of the incident was launched by the school district.

The lawsuit is requesting a jury trial. The U.S. District Court for Western Michigan ordered Hoffmeyer’s attorney to show cause why the case should not be transferred to the Eastern District of Michigan as Isabella County is part of that court’s jurisdiction. They must show cause no later than Sept. 29.

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