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Teacher Chops Off First Grader's Braid

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Police Issue Teacher $175 Ticket For Disorderly Conduct
: MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee teacher is charged with disorderly conduct after punishing a first-grader by cutting her hair.

Lamya Cammon is angry, confused, and scared by the incident last week in which the apparently frustrated teacher cut one of her braids off after she wouldn't stop playing with them in class.

Cammon, 7, sports a few dozen braids, but one is conspicuously absent.

"She told me to stop playing with it. Then cut it off and sent me back to my desk," Cammon said.

Cammon's a first-grader at Congress Elementary and said her teacher used a pair of classroom scissors to cut off one of the braids after she absent-mindedly kept playing with them.

"Tell me how you play with your hair. Show me what that means," 12 News reporter Nick Bohr said to Cammon.

"I wasn't playing with it that loud," Cammon said.

She said the teacher called her to the front of the room and cut it in front of the whole class.

"What did you do?" Bohr asked.

"I went to my desk and cried. And they was laughing," Cammon said. "She threw it away, and she said, 'Now what you gonna go home and say to your momma? ' And I said, 'That you cut off my hair,'" Cammon said.

Cammon's mother is furious. She went to the school and confronted the teacher.

"I said, 'Well, you know, you cut a lot of her hair off.' And she was like, 'Well, I do apologize.' She said, 'But I was frustrated,'" Cammon's mother, Helen Cunningham, said.

The Milwaukee Public Schools District said it is going through the disciplinary process with the teacher, who remains in class, although Cammon has been moved to a different classroom by the principal.

"The main thing is, from the heart of the principal, and me speaking for the district, we're very sorry that this happened," MPS spokeswoman Roseann St. Aubin said.

Cammon's mother said she appreciates the apology but said the district should seriously question whether the teacher should keep her job.

"Why would we want someone like that teaching our kids? We trust our kids once they go to school to be safe," Cunningham said.

Milwaukee police investigated the case and referred it to the district attorney for possible physical or mental abuse of a child charges.

When the district attorney's office decided not to file criminal charges, police this week issued the teacher a $175 ticket for disorderly conduct.

The Milwaukee Teachers Education Association can't talk about the incident, but said stress is not unusual.

"As budget constraints get tighter every year, the stress level and frustrations do increase," said the MTEA's Sid Hatch.

12 News called the teacher Friday night and went to her home for comment, but someone came to the door and said she did not want to talk.

Copyright 2009 by All rights reserved.

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9 comments so far | Post a comment now
Elise December 15, 2009, 4:06 PM

A summons is that all. This was assault plain and simple. This mom needs to find a lawyer and sue the school district.

@MandieD79 December 15, 2009, 4:18 PM

The teacher wasn’t fired or even suspended? Kids get suspended for destroying others property and this woman cut a childs hair off. Teachers are not supposed to lose their cool and do things like that. What if she lost it and slapped a child or got physical in some other way.. Kind of scary i’d say. I am a parent and I know I can get frustrated and lose my cool, but it’s just not acceptable for a teacher to do something like that.

Anonymous December 15, 2009, 9:56 PM

ghetto school, gehtto teacher

anita December 15, 2009, 11:49 PM

How can you be so frustrated with a child and you call yourself a teacher..your job requires you to understand and except little children.
Yes you should loose your job and not be able to teach anywhere. And they show the child with more courage than you. Why not show your face you were BOLD when it came to doing harm to this child, where is your boldness now?
I commend Lamya’s MOTHER for not taking matters into her own hands and SLAPPING you. But you will reap this no matter how you apolize. You have harmed a child and God does not like that. But we still must pray for you and you lack of knowledge.

Dara December 16, 2009, 2:54 AM

I feel like the school isn’t taking enough disciplinary action because this is a black child. I am a white person, and I this is the impression I get. That mother needs to find a lawyer and sue for her termination. absolutely inexcuseable.

Shannon(won't tolerate ignorance) December 16, 2009, 7:24 AM

To the “anonymous”, you do NOT know how to spell ghetto and your behavior is just as ignorant as the teacher. Racism has always been a problem here in America because of the highly ignorant intellect of it’s caucasian people. The teacher is at that school because she doesn’t want to pay off the rest of her student loan. If a teacher works at a school in a low-income neighborhood for 4 years then she will not have to pay for her education. She needs to be fired immediately!!!! NO QUESTIONS ASKED…

Mom of Two December 16, 2009, 4:47 PM

I wonder what the punishment would be if a child cut a teachers hair? A fine and moving the teacher to a new class? I doubt it!

This is BS - this mom should sue… if this teacher had an issue, she should have spoken to the mom!

Wanda March 8, 2010, 6:52 PM

Shannon, how can you say any of this is racist? No race was mentioned, isn’t it racist to assume?
That being said, I have to give this mother props. What a strong woman! I am sure that I would have cut a huge hole in the teacher’s hair, thrown it in the trash and walked out if given an “I was frustrated response.”

cheapviagra8217 August 30, 2010, 10:33 AM

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