A teacher has been arrested after she forcibly cut a student’s hair while shouting the American National Anthem.
Margaret Gieszinger, who works as a science teacher at University Preparatory High School in Visalia, California, was arrested yesterday (December 5) on suspicion of felony child endangerment.
The 52-year-old was captured on camera as she forced one of her students to sit at the front of the classroom while she cut chunks out of his hair and threw them to the ground, all while singing.
Take a look at the shocking scene here:
this teacher really cut her student’s hair while singing the national anthem. america is different pic.twitter.com/2zbst49gCd
— josh (@thejoshuagrant) December 6, 2018
She told members of the classroom to stand and said ‘this is how we do it’ before launching into The Star-Spangled Banner. As she cut the first chunk of hair from the boy’s head, other students could be heard gasping in horror.
At one point the boy tried to walk away, but Gieszinger instructed him to sit back down, gesturing at the seat and saying ‘You’re not done! Take a seat!’.
The boy eventually managed to leave the chair, but the 52-year-old set her sights on the other students, calling out ‘Next! I’m not done!’ while waving the scissors in the air.
When, unsurprisingly, none of the class volunteered, the teacher threatened she’d pick another student herself.
One female student could be heard saying ‘oh, no’, while others started to run out of the classroom. Gieszinger grabbed one girl by the hair and approached her with the scissors, resuming her song, but luckily the student managed to escape.
Speaking to Visalia Times Delta, Police Chief Kevin Mizner explained College of the Sequoias police responded to reports of child endangerment involving a teacher and a ‘pair of scissors’.
The teacher was later arrested, with her bail set at $100,000.
One of Gieszinger’s students, Lilli Gates, told Visalia Times Delta the incident was out of character for the teacher, explaining:
When everything was going on I was terrified, and I so badly wanted to blame her. I was scared she was going to come back.
What she did to my classmates and I is inexcusable. I am not trying to make excuses for her, I simply ask everyone to reconsider how they view her.
She is a loving and kind lady. She is usually all smiles and laughs. This is not the Miss G. we know and love.
Tulare County Office of Education, which oversees the high school, released a statement about the situation:
The staff at University Preparatory High School and the administration at the Tulare County Office of Education are deeply concerned for the students who were subjected to the disturbing behaviour in Margaret Gieszinger’s class yesterday morning.
To support all students on the UPHS campus today, we have sent top counselors from our mental health services program. They will continue to be available to the students as long as necessary.
Gieszinger will not return to the classroom, and instead a substitute teacher will take over her class.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.