A Massachusetts mother is furious after her 7-year-old daughter’s head was shaved at school for “hygienic reasons,” the New York Daily News reported.
Denise Robinson dropped her daughter, Tru, off at Little Heroes Group Home in Dracut with hair that reached past her shoulders.
“Her hair was in two pony tails on the side on Saturday and it was braided in the pony tails and there was nothing wrong,” Robinson said.
But when she picked Tru up from the group home that afternoon, her hair had been shaved off.
The school staff claimed the hair cut was necessary for cleanliness, but Robinson said she never gave them permission. According to its website, Little Heroes calls itself an “intensive group home” that serves children with emotional, mental health and behavioral issues.
"I was told a clinician gave permission to Tru to have this haircut done," Robinson said. “There was no hygienic reason to shave my child’s head. There was no head lice. There was no bed bugs.”
Robinson said that after receiving an inadequate response from her daughter’s school about what happened, she is now looking to sue.
“I am very upset. And I’m not going to stop being upset because I feel like my child was assaulted and violated,” Robinson told NECN.
The Department of Children and Families is currently investigating the incident and Robinson has hired attorney Richard Kendall to represent her in the case.
She said Tru was told that if her hair was shaved, it would grow back straight.
“The volunteer informed this 7-year-old biracial child that by shaving her head, her hair would grow back straight,” Kendall told reporters. “I find that appalling.”
Robinson says that she can’t help but think that the haircut was racially motivated.
In a written statement, Little Heroes said that they were looking into the incident.
“Decisions regarding grooming are based on a variety of factors, including hygiene,” according to the release. “A review of circumstances is underway to determine what occurred and, if necessary, appropriate action will be taken.”
Robinson says that, regardless of the motive, her daughter is very emotionally damaged by the incident.
“She’s a very emotionally damaged young lady with behavioral issues,” her attorney, Kendall, said, “and to put this on top of the whole entire thing is really rough.”