A Visalia teacher from University Preparatory High School has been arrested and removed from her classroom after a viral video shows her forcibly cutting off student’s hair in the classroom. Thanks to student’s cell phones and Reddit, Margaret Gieszinger, was arrested with suspicion of felony child endangerment. Her bail was set at $100,000.
The video, which was shared several times on social media, showed the science teacher cutting a student’s hair while singing the National Anthem. After the student gets up from the chair, the teacher proceeds to try to grab a female student’s hair and cut it. Students began to run out of the classroom following this.
One student spoke to Visalia Times Daily and said:
“When everything was going on I was terrified, and I so badly wanted to blame her. I was scared she was going to come back. What she did to my classmates and I is inexcusable. I am not trying to make excuses for her, I simply ask everyone to reconsider how they view her. She is a loving and kind lady. She is usually all smiles and laughs. This is not the Miss G. we know and love.”
Additionally, students claimed that the teacher was showing strange behavior prior to the hair-cutting incident. According to students, a science test had gone missing earlier in the week and Gieszinger blamed students—making one cry. However, the administration had “ignored student’s complaints.”
Jim Vidak, superintendent of Tulare County schools, issued a statement saying:
“The staff at University Preparatory High School and the administration at the Tulare County Office of Education are deeply concerned for the students who were subjected to the disturbing behavior in Margaret Gieszinger’s class yesterday morning. To support all students on the UPHS campus today, we have sent top counselors from our mental health services program. They will continue to be available to the students as long as necessary.”