A chemistry teacher at University Preparatory High School in Visalia, California was arrested after she forcibly cut a student's hair while singing the "Star-Spangled Banner." One of the students in Margaret Gieszinger's chemistry class recorded the disturbing incident, which showed the teacher ordering a male student to "take a seat" in front of the class and cutting off a piece of his hair and then tossing it over her shoulder. The video then cuts to the teacher grabbing a female student in an attempt to cut her hair, causing the girl and the other students in the class to run out of the room.
"We think she's going to try to be funny and be like, 'Oh did you really think I was going to cut his hair?' But she did cut a hair off, and she started singing the 'Star-Spangled Banner" and she was singing it really loudly as she ceremoniously tossed a chunk of hair behind her," one of the students told ABC30.
Another student said that Gieszinger, who had her teaching credentials suspended twice, in 2006 and 2017, had another freakout earlier in the week when she snapped at her students when she could not find a copy of a test.
Gieszinger was arrested and jailed on suspicion of felony child endangerment, and a judge set her bond at $100,000.
The Tulare County Office of Education has released a statement saying that they "promptly removed Ms. Gieszinger from her classroom" and that the 52-year-old teacher has been replaced by a "highly-qualified substitute teacher."
We take very seriously the safety of the students in classrooms and on the COS campus. We move decisively when questions of inappropriate and unprofessional conduct are brought to the attention of UPHS administration. In this instance, we promptly removed Ms. Gieszinger from her classroom and worked closely with the COS Police Department. We are reviewing all available information and will take the most severe employment action appropriate. Ms. Gieszinger will not return to her UPHS classroom.