WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS
A Mississippi school district has concluded its investigation into claims that a principal cut a student’s hair, saying it found no evidence to support the allegations.
The investigation was sparked by a Facebook post that went viral Tuesday in which parent Lattrice Averette shared pictures of her 11-year-old son’s dreadlocks, local station WDAM reported. Averette wrote that she was “shocked” and accused the principal at North Jones Elementary of cutting the fourth-grader’s hair, stripping him of his cultural identity.
“I was not contacted before or after this,” she wrote. “My son told me when he came home as he handed me his hair.”
The boy said the incident happened at school Monday during one of his classes. He said he was summoned to the principal’s office without reason, and when he got there, the faculty member proceeded to cut portions of his hair that hung in front of his face.
Tommy Parker, Superintendent of the Jones County School District, announced the end of the investigation Wednesday, saying officials found zero proof of such an incident occurring.
“Based on what we found, we found absolutely no evidence that there is any proof what so ever that his allegations of having his hair cut at school exist,” Parker said, noting that the district interviewed students, staff and even reviewed surveillance video at the school.
Pointing to footage from a camera outside the school’s front office, the superintendent said the student would have had to walk directly towards the camera to make his way into the principal’s office.
“I spent two hours watching minute by minute video today to see if there was an occasion that the student that’s made the accusations against the school’s principal was at or near the school office,” he said. “In the time frame he said he was at the school office, there is no video evidence that he was at or near the school office at any time.”
“This story appears to be a total fabrication by this student,” Parker added.
No one at the school will face disciplinary action.
Averette said she’s still outraged by the incident and has since pulled her son, who she said is autistic and suffers from ADHD, from the school.
“I was highly upset,” Averette told WDAM. “I needed something to be done, and I wanted some justice for my son. I needed some help … Since that time, I have been to the police department. I have pressed charges with the justice court against the school’s principal as well as the school’s counselor. I’ve been to the superintendent’s office and I’m waiting for them to complete their investigation.”