‘They Didn’t Find Anything’: Maryland Teacher Who Went Viral After Allowing Middle School Girls to Unbraid Hair Cleared of Wrongdoing By School District

A Maryland middle school teacher who was at the center of an online controversy that surfaced over a video he posted showing his students unbraiding his hair has been cleared of wrongdoing by his school district.

That controversy stemmed from a livestream video that science teacher Marquis White posted on his TikTok account in May, showing between four and five middle school girls unbraiding and detangling his hair in a classroom.

In another TikTok video, which showed a clip of the unbraiding session, he clarified that he recruited the students to help him prepare for a hair appointment.

Black Teacher Under Fire for Allowing Students to Unbraid His Hair Calls Out 'Double Standard'
Marquis White was reassigned from his classroom in Prince George’s Schools, Maryland after a video of female students unbraiding his hair went viral. (Photo: TikTok video screenshot/thilluminati1)

The video set the stage for an administrative investigation by Prince George’s County Public Schools after allegations emerged that the interaction between White and his students was inappropriate.

Under White’s videos, comments were split between support and opposition to his conduct. Some people thought the interaction was wholesome and showcased a good-natured bond that White had cultivated with his students. Others thought it crossed physical and professional boundaries.

After the probe was launched, White was reassigned and ordered to work from home pending its outcome.

It took nearly two months for White to hear back from the district. He posted an update on Saturday stating that district officials cleared him of any misconduct and reinstated him to his teaching position.

“After all the baseless claims, after a long and extensive and arduous investigation, they didn’t find anything,” White said in the TikTok video.

White said he was initially troubled by how long the investigation took, but ultimately thanked the district for taking their time to review the matter and making sure he wasn’t an actual danger to the students before allowing him to return to his post.

“Throughout all of this stuff, the parents, the students, the staff, administration included, were all supporting me and defending my name and my character,” White said, adding that the father of one of the girls in the video also defended him.

In the decision to put White back into the classroom, White said that school district officials told him they are somewhat opposed to teachers posting students on their personal social media accounts. Because of that, White was suspended without pay for five days.

White made it clear in his update and in previous videos that he has always asked parents for permission before putting their children on his social media channels.

Most people welcomed the news that White got his job back, commenting with praises and support. A few others still expressed uneasiness about his behavior.

“The entire situation made me realize the significant amount of healing that our community needs. Absolutely nothing was wrong with what you did and I’m glad you’re back!” one person said.

“I’m sorry I did think it was a little weird but I’m honestly glad nothing was found and you get your job back,” another commenter wrote.

White will return to his job in August when the next school year begins.

Back to top