Teacher cuts off hair of Down syndrome girl

Jesslyn Stirewalp 
By: John Roberts 

A teacher cut off the beautiful hair of a little Down syndrome girl without her family’s consent, according to reports.

The North Carolina mother of the 7-year-old girl is very angry at the teacher for the incident.

"Most of the time, she brushed her hair. She was always doing something with her hair," Jesslyn's mother, Jessica Stirewalp, said.

Stirewalp said that a Millbridge Elementary School teacher in Rowan County, North Carolina, cut her daughter’s hair during class this week.

“Her assistant called me and said: ‘I hope you do not mind, but I cut your daughter's hair because she had food in it,’” Stirewalp said.

"Of course I was angry, but I asked how much, and she said four inches," the mother added.

Stirewalp said that she was shocked when Jesslyn got home from school.

"Instead of cutting it four inches, it was more like eight inches. When she entered the house, you could tell she thought she was in trouble," Stirewalp said. "I mean, it hurt my feelings, and I know it hurt her feelings," the mother said.

The mother said she has heard conflicting explanations about why Jesslyn’s hair was cut. She said that the teacher initially told her by phone that it was because of food that was stuck Jesslyn's hair.

However, a letter from the teacher said that Jesslyn did not stop taking her hair down, so the teacher cut it, Stirewalp said.

When asked about the incident, the school principal, Christopher Smith, said, "I cannot comment on that." He directed questions to a Rowan-Salisbury school district spokesperson, who did not respond to a request for comment.

Jesslyn’s family said the hairstyle has changed the girl.

"She looked at her hair and said, 'Pretty,'" her grandmother Mary Poole said. "She does not even go in front of the mirror anymore," she added.