Jimmy Hoffmeyer filed the lawsuit against Mount Pleasant Public Schools, a librarian and a teacher assistant on Tuesday, alleging racial discrimination, assault, battery ethnic intimidation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. His daughter is biracial.
She now attends another school.
Hoffmeyer said the girl arrived home in March from Ganiard Elementary School with most of her hair on one side of her head cut. The girl – who is Black and White — said a classmate cut her hair on a school bus.
Her parents complained to the school principal and had the girl’s hair styled at a salon. Two days later, she came home with much of her hair cut on the other side of her head.
“I asked what happened and said ‘I thought I told you no child should ever cut your hair,’” Hoffmeyer said at the time. “She said ‘but dad, it was the teacher.’ The teacher cut her hair to even it out.”
In the lawsuit filed in Grand Rapids, Hoffmeyer alleges the district failed to properly train and supervise its employees. In July, the district said a staffer who cut the girl’s hair was reprimanded and an independent third-party investigation determined that despite “good intentions” of the worker who cut the girl’s hair, doing so without permission from her parents and without the knowledge of district administrators violated school policy.
Two other employees didn’t report the incident and all three have since apologized.
A school board investigation found no racial bias. However, Hoffmeyer said he was never questioned about the incident.
“We are confident that the facts will prevail given our district’s appropriate and aggressive response to the incident and the findings of the third-party investigation that was conducted,” Amy Bond, president of the Pleasant Public Schools Board of Education said in a statement. “We will aggressively defend against these baseless allegations in court and will not allow this to distract us from our mission to provide every child a world-class education that prepares them for college and careers.”
Fox News has reached out to Bond and district administrators.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.