Teacher gave haircut to student with autism without permission, mom says
LAWRENCE, Ind. (WTHR) - An Indiana school district is caught in controversy after a teacher cut the hair of a 17-year-old student with autism without parental permission.
Nikki Battle says a teacher at Indianapolis’ Lawrence Central High School cut her 17-year-old son Jonathan Battle-Hayum’s hair Tuesday. She pointed out bald spots and nicks from the haircut and says it will take at least two to three months for it to grow back.
She says the teacher also cut Battle-Hayum’s eyebrows and facial hair.
The 17-year-old was in the process of growing his hair out, so he could have it braided next month.
“It was an afro. It was a big, ol’ beautiful afro. His hair was fine. There was nothing wrong with his hair,” Battle said.
But Battle-Hayum says some students were recently making fun of him for his hair. It’s not the first time the teenager, who is on the autism spectrum, says he’s been picked on and bullied at school.
His mother says that Tuesday another student shoved her son at school.
“He tried to walk away, and that’s when the kid pushed him. And he grabbed him in self-defense, so the school told me to come up there and pick him up,” Battle said.
When she arrived at the school, Battle discovered a teacher had cut her son’s hair.
“I feel disrespected. I feel left out that you did something without consulting a parent. That’s not your kid,” Battle said.
Battle-Hayum says when the teacher offered to cut his hair, he agreed, believing he was “gonna fix me up.”
Battle says she’s not surprised her son didn’t tell the teacher no and that he wouldn’t argue with an adult.
The school district issued a statement saying they took the allegations seriously and investigated immediately. It says the teacher was acting with the best of intentions and trying to help Battle-Hayum.
“He said he was trying to do a good deed, but, you know, that’s not a good deed to me,” Battle said.
Battle-Hayum doesn’t want to go back to school but rather finish his senior year virtually.
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