Monday, December 14, 2009

WI: Teacher Charged with Disorderly Conduct for Cutting Off Child's Braid

December 14, 2009
By Jennifer Searcy
Founder/Director of Public Policy & Affairs reports that police have ticketed an as-yet unnamed first grade teacher at Congress Elementary School (located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin) $175 for "disorderly conduct" after the teacher admitted to cutting off one of her student's braids.

The student, seven-year old Lamya Cannon, has been described as being "angry, confused, and scared" by the incident.

Lamya reported that her teacher had called her to the front of the classroom and then proceeded to cut off one of the offending braids with a pair of classroom scissors - because the child had continued to play with the beaded braid after the teacher asked her to stop.

The child has been quoted as saying:

"I went to my desk and cried. And they was laughing. [The teacher] threw [the braid] away, and she said, 'Now what you gonna go home and say to your momma? ' And I said, 'That you cut off my hair.'"

Lamya's mother, Helen Cunningham, reportedly went to the school to confront the teacher and told the teacher, "Well you know, you cut a lot of her hair off.' And she was like, 'Well, I do apologize.' She said, 'But I was frustrated.'"

The Milwaukee Public Schools District has admitted that the teacher, who remains in the classroom, is being investigated through the district's "disciplinary process."

Milwaukee Public School's spokeswoman Roseann St. Aubin was quoted as saying,"The main thing is, from the heart of the principal, and me speaking for the district, we're very sorry that this happened."

While Lamya's mother indicated she appreciated the apology, she wanted the district to question whether the teacher should keep her job. In the meantime, Lamya has reportedly been moved to another classroom.

WISN reports that the Milwaukee police investigated the case and referred it to the district attorney for possible physical or mental abuse of a child charges, but that the district attorney's office declined filing criminal charges.

It was this decision that led police this week to issue the teacher with the $175 ticket for disorderly conduct.

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