Thursday, May 21, 2009


This story is horrifying to any parent. How dare a school touch a child's hair? It's worse when you consider the child is First Nations and was growing his hair to participate in grass dancing as part of his spiritual/cultural tradition. It's the equivalent of tearing a cross off a Cathlolic child. Worse still the way it inevitably reminds us all of residential school. I think we all want answers on this one.

Mom wants answers after teacher's aide chops off son's hair
Last Updated: Thursday, May 21, 2009 4:02 PM CT
CBC News
A Thunder Bay woman is demanding an explanation after a teacher's aide at her son's school cut his long hair — an action her lawyer says is clearly assault while the Crown insists there are no grounds for charges.
CBC News is not naming the family to protect the child's identity.
The seven-year-old boy had chin-length hair before the incident last month. His mother said staff at McKellar Park Central Public School were aware her son was letting his hair grow so that he could take part in traditional First Nations dancing.
The mother told CBC News she was stunned when her son told her it was a teacher's assistant who lopped off 10 centimetres of his hair.
"I said, 'Why did she do this? Did she say anything?'" said the mother. "And he said, 'No, and after she cut my hair, she took me by the shoulders and forced me to stand in front of the mirror. She made me stand there and said look at you now.'"
Lawyer Julian Falconer is representing the family.
"We have a classic example of the vulnerabilities of a seven-year-old being taken advantage [of] by someone with a pair of scissors who lifted that child on a stool and proceeded to violate the child," Falconer said. "The question becomes how could the police and the Crown attorney's office turn a blind eye to this?"
Thunder Bay police took head shots of the child as part of their investigation of the incident and also interviewed the school principal, the teacher's assistant involved and the mother and boy, said police spokesman Chris Adams.
"The Crown got back to us and indicated that there were no grounds for criminal charges, and it wasn't in the public interest according to the Crown," he said.
A spokesperson for Lakehead Public School Board confirmed the "unfortunate incident" took place but declined to comment further.
The teaching assistant has been suspended, but the mother said that does not go far enough.



Wideye said...

I wonder if she the school and the police unit would have a better grasp of the situation if we were to grab them...or their children and force a hair cut and proceed to stand them in front of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation general assembly. We could all nod and smile and say “just look at you now”. It would be quite a site to see dozens and dozens of all these little 7-year-old standing on display for us each with fresh amateur cuts. (It would look like a residential school group shot but the faces would be paler) This would (I think) be far greater example on what our children should look like and help all of us (Aboriginal and non) understand exactly how we can build confidence and esteem in our children – by mocking others!... Such a hideous example but why do they want us to be like them? Not all white people treat children this way but why when it happens to our children does everybody tell us to shut up and not complain? What else is the system saying if no charges are laid...that all kids...all hair is up for random we can grab anybody and just ship snip whenever we want? I think she should be charged with assault and will follow up with a letter to the Thunder Bay OPP

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely. I agree letters to the police and the school. Crown attourney too.

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