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$10,000 haircut

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Wow - I'd be angry too, but $10,000!!!
School Pays $10,000 For Boy's Haircut

"POSTED: 8:48 am EST March 17, 2005

WILSONVILLE, Ore. -- Sally Miller might have been grateful if her 8-year-old son had come home from school with a nice-looking haircut. But when he showed up with "next to nothing" on his head, Miller threatened to sue.

The West Linn-Wilsonville School District recently agreed to pay Miller $10,000 because a school employee cut the boy's hair without permission.

The case was settled last month, but its documents were not released until The Oregonian newspaper filed a public records request.

"First I was shocked," Miller told the newspaper. "Then I was embarrassed that I didn't have the money to get him a haircut. And then I was mad ... I thought, 'What nerve. How invasive.'"

The single mother said she tried to keep her son's hair looking neat.

"There was one stinking day, and I'm not lying, that I didn't brush his hair," Miller said.

Superintendent Roger Woehl said Wednesday the employee was wrong to play barber. "If someone needs a haircut, we'd be more than happy to go into our wallets to give them 20 bucks," he said.

The school district's insurance company paid the $10,000 settlement but admits no liability, said Peter Merserau, an attorney for the school district."
post #2 of 20
I would be highly ticked off any school thought they had the right to cut my child's (not that I have one but when I do) hair without my permission. I don't know that I would sue them but they sure would get an ear full.
post #3 of 20
I am not generally one to agree with lawsuits, but I have to agree with the mom here. Not only would I sue the school, but I would look in to criminal charges for the person that did that. If anyone is going to put their hands on my child, it is going to be me. Unless they are in immediate danger and must be removed, or some agreement on discipline has been made beforehand, no on has the right to touch someone else's kids.
post #4 of 20
When I did summer school we asked permission to let kids paint each others nails! So that is common sense.
post #5 of 20
I see both sides I guess. But honestly it IS Hair, it will grow back. Why must we sue someone or threaten to sue when something happens we don't like. I think the woman getting $10,000 is absurd and ridiculous. She has a right to be upset but not take $10,000 away from the education system.
post #6 of 20
she must have been insulted but at the end of the day werent the school doing her a favor if her kid looked that bad?
post #7 of 20
I agree, I would be upset if they touched my kid's hair without permission from me...but at the same time, was it necessary to award her $10,000!?!?!? In my opinion that's a bit much...Geez, why not put the teacher who did it on some kind of probation and pay to have the kid's hair fixed...

some people will do anything to get other people's money
post #8 of 20
I would bet the teacher saw that head unbrushed more than one day. Her pride was injured, not her kid's brain. Ten thousand dollars is excessive. How about 200.00 for regular haircuts for the rest of the school year?
post #9 of 20
If the teacher had tenure and there was a worry he would try something like this again, the school board would need something to hang over his head. An insurance payment of 10 grand would certianly be enough to get the guy fired.

Personally, I think it was a fair amount. It'll certainly have an impact on other teacher's who are thinking of doing the same thing!

All I know is that if someone tried that on me while I was in school, they'd have been suing me for assult.
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
I'd be mad if someone cut my boyfriend's hair. NO ONE has a right to cut someone elses's kid's hair without permission, but $10,000.00???!!!

and Wodesorel,

"All I know is that if someone tried that on me while I was in school, they'd have been suing me for assult."
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by mrsd
I would bet the teacher saw that head unbrushed more than one day.
I suspect the same thing.
post #12 of 20
I would be outraged if I were that mother, too. Yes, punish the teacher for her gross violation of her duties and infringement upon that child and his family. If she wanted to sue for $10,000, that money should come DIRECTLY from that teacher. But if that $10K is coming from the school system, that is just not right as it takes away from the education of many, many children.
post #13 of 20
i'm sure the teacher didnt act in spite. everyone remembers the type of kid at school who NEEDED a haircut.

if the kid looked better for it and was less likely to get teased why make a fuss? the mother obviously couldnt be bothered to get the kids haired done so why does she care. they did her a favor.
post #14 of 20
i agree with the mom as well, i'd be very angry if they cut any hair off the child's head.
post #15 of 20
Good for the mother ! This teacher should be focusing on teaching.

There are cultures and religions (Sikh, Native American, Orthodox Jew etc.) in which there are certain prescriptives against the cutting of hair. I've read of accounts in which some Native American children were forcibly shorn of their hair to make them "better fit in."

Sure hair will "grow back" but that is not the issue - it is this teacher imposing her values on someone else's child. How difficult would it have been to contact the mother and ask permission anyway ?

Let's hope that $10,000 will make these people think twice before deciding they know what is best for someone else.
post #16 of 20
Originally Posted by Rockcat
I suspect the same thing.
I don't doubt that either however, the teacher was still in the wrong to cut that child's hair. Perhaps the mother and child like the longer look of the hair or perhaps not, maybet she really didn't have the money to get the hair cut.
My main point is that the teacher had no right at all to start chopping away on that child's hair. I'm quite sure it wasn't causing a distruption in class and if it was the mother should have been contacted and permission gotten.

No as to whether or not the $10,000 was over doing it, I don't know. What I do know is most likely other teachers won't be as likely to do the same thing and that is a good thing.
post #17 of 20
Whatever happened to the home haircut
if you can brush hair you have time to cut it.
post #18 of 20
I live in the same area where this happened. What that article didn't mention is that the child is autistic. The people who cut his hair were the special education teacher and the classroom assistant. Here is a more detailed article:

WEST LINN, Ore. -- It's an issue that a West Linn mom would like to forget, and the school district also wishes it had never happened.
Teachers of an 8-year-old boy gave him a buzz cut, which became a very expensive haircut.

"Shocked, I was very shocked," Sally Miller recalled.

When Miller's autistic son came home from this school one day in October, she was surprised to find that most of his hair had been cut off. She was even more surprised to learn who did it -- his teachers.

"I just felt my rights as a parent were denied. They cut his hair without my permission."

School administrators don't like the fact it happened.

"We do not condone cutting a student's hair, permission or no permission. We don't believe we should cut anyone's hair," Roger Woeh said.

They disciplined the teachers.

"I think they thought they were doing something good for this child, it was a poor choice," Woeh said.

And the district paid Miller $10,000 in an out-of-court settlement. Miller says its not about the money -- most of it is going into a trust fund for her son. She's glad the school district responded to her concerns. Now she just wants to move forward.

"This has been an excellent school," she said.

With what she says has been an excellent education for her special-needs son.

"Just for him to be able to continue his education and hopefully we'll be able to move on from this incident."

Administrators say they didn't change any policies over this, but they have had staff meetings to remind staff it's not OK to cut a student's hair or invade his personal space in any other way.

Miller's son is still in the same classroom. She didn't want him identified. She says she never intended to cause trouble, she just felt she should have say in decisions affecting her child.

post #19 of 20
The teacher was wrong.

Yes, I do think the teacher should have gotten permission, but I think it is OBSURD to be awarded $10,000 over a haircut. $1000.00 is too much also, but I'd at least think that fits the "crime" better. $10,000 is just over-the-top.

It's SAD we live in a sue-happy society where everyone thinks it's the answer to even the smallest of offenses. There are too many people sitting around waiting to pounce the minute they have what they feel warrants a court case. The courts are clogged up with this stuff and when insurance companies pay these moneys out, we ALL end up footing the bill. I don't want my own insurance premiums going up, or my local school taxes rising because of silly haircut lawsuits.
post #20 of 20
I have taught school for 24 years and cannot believe anyone would be so unintelligent as to cut a child's hair! How unprofessional! It is none of a teacher's business how anyone's hair is cut.
Now, we have had to contact parents who do not take care of their children (don't bathe them or wash their clothes), but no one in his or her right mind would cut a child's hair.
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