Mother says teacher cut several inches off 7-year-old's hair

by: Natalie Pasquarella Updated:

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ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. —

A Rowan County mother is angry after she said her daughter's teacher chopped off some of her 7-year-old's hair.

She emailed Channel 9, upset about how the situation is being handled.

In her school picture, 7-year-old Jesslyn has long, brown hair. Her mother and grandmother said she adored her hair before an incident at school last week.

“Most of the time, she's always brushing her hair, always doing something with her hair,” her mother, Jessica Stirewalt, said.

“She would look at it and she would say, ‘Pretty.’ She doesn't even get in front of the mirror anymore,” her grandmother, Mary Poole, said.

The women said Jesslyn, who has Down syndrome, was in class at Millbridge Elementary on Friday when one of her teachers cut her hair.

“Her assistant teacher calls me and says, ‘I hope you don't mind, but I cut your daughter's hair because she got food in it,’” Stirewalt said. “Of course, I got mad, but I asked her how much, and she said 4 inches.”

Jesslyn's mom said hours later, she was even more shocked.

“Instead of 4 inches, it was more (like) 8 inches. And when she walked in the house, you could tell that she thought she was in trouble,” Stirewalt said. “I mean, it hurts my feelings, and I know it hurts her feelings.”

The family also claimed there are conflicting stories. They received a letter from the teacher.

“The letter states (she) would not quit taking her hair down this morning, so when I went to fix her hair, I trimmed it up. I hope you don't mind,” Poole said.

When Eyewitness News called the school district, they said they can't comment on anything involving a particular child.