Written by Tomas Kassahun
Published on 19th April 2021
On 26th March 2021, , Jurnee Hoffmeyer’s, a bi-racial child, hair was cut by a librarian at Ganiard Elementary School in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Before this incident, half of her hair had been cut by a classmate. Immediately after this, her father, Jimmy Hoffmeyer, took his daughter to a salon and encouraged her to choose a new hairstyle. A few days later, he learnt that his daughter’s hair had been cut by a librarian at the school. His daughter was visibly upset and has been struggling to cope with the incident since.
Jimmy Hoffmeyer shares that he was outraged by this violation and contacted the school regarding this incident. When he spoke with Ganiard Principal Marcy Stout, demanding consequences against the staff member, she shared all could do was put a mark in their progress file and suggested that he speak with the Superintendent. However, the Superintendent recommended that the librarian could send a note apologising for her actions. Frustrated at this response, Hoffmeyer decided to pull his daughter out of the school.
With support from The National Parent’s Union (NPU), Hoffmeyer is seeking a civil rights lawyer to represent his daughter’s case. Although he does not believe this incident was racially motivated, the NPU is demanding that the CROWN Act be implemented in Michigan. The CROWN Act is a law that bans discrimination against a person due to their hair texture and hairstyle and was first passed in California in 2018 by Senator Cory Booker.
“Discrimination against Black hair is discrimination against Black people,” – Senator Brooker, 2019