Thanks to one Texas school, a 16-year-old teen has gone viral — and not in a good way.
This story begins in the Texas town of Hico, where Texas mother Amy Martin’s son, Lane Kiesling, was given a “Dumb and Dumber” haircut by his schoolteacher this past Tuesday.
Speaking with Fort Worth station KXAS, the mother/son duo explained that weeks earlier Kiesling’s school had warned him that his bangs were against the dress code and needed to be trimmed.
“It was well below my eyebrows but it was on top of my glasses so it never got in my eyes. It just got close,” the teen said in apparent defense of his long hair.
But instead of taking care of the bangs themselves, the duo let the issue linger.
“Money’s really tight right now. We just moved and there’s a lot of expenses and a haircut’s just not even on my radar right now,” Martin said.
Now fast-forward to Tuesday morning, when Kiesling’s principal told him there was a teacher with a cosmetology license at the school and that she was prepared to give him a proper haircut after the school day ended. But that never happened.
Instead, the teen was pulled from his 7th-period class and confronted with a scissors-wielding woman.
“I got sat down and she got ready to cut my hair and then told me she’s only cutting my bangs,” he recalled.
What followed was a haircut so allegedly bad that it made him the butt of his peers’ jokes.
“It looked like if I were to take the kitchen scissors and just pull it out and bluntly over and over cut, because you know it was just very choppy like Jim Carrey on ‘Dumb and Dumber’ but rounder and a little bit shorter. That’s exactly what it looked like,” his mom explained.
Look at the below and after:
My 16yo son came home from school crying. His principal took him out of class and had a teacher cut his bangs off! They…
In an emotional Facebook update posted Wednesday, Kiesling’s mom claimed her son had come home from school crying because of the haircut and that he’d been too embarrassed to go back.
Irate at what happened, Martin then contacted the principal, only to be hit with the blame game.
“I called the principal and she had a lot of excuses blaming my son. She said he looked down. There’s no way that explains the awful haircut,” she wrote on Facebook.
She added that the principal eventually apologized and offered to take her son to get a real haircut. The problem is the principal allegedly would up humiliating her son again.
“He came back crying again. He said the principal just told him how it was his fault and belittled him the whole time. It’s a real small town, there were people they know there. He is humiliated,” she wrote.
In response to the double dose of humiliation, she reportedly filed three complaints with the Hico Police Department, only to be ignored.
After Hico Police Chief Ronnie Ashmore saw her Facebook post, he visited her to apologize.
“He was very apologetic,” she said to the Glen Rose Reporter. “He had no idea about this situation and couldn’t believe I had called the department three times before anyone responded. I gave him a statement and we will see what happens.”
The school district meanwhile has been mainly mum about the scandal, save for a vague statement:
“As part of our commitment to provide a safe and secure learning environment, Hico ISD has a student code of conduct and student handbook that is comprehensive. Student expectations are shared at the beginning of every school year. We also ask parents to sign off on our procedures which are based on community values. We encourage parents to be involved in decision-making processes, share how they feel about district operations and to share any concerns with their child’s principal. Ultimately, our priority is to educate and support the well-being of every student in Hico ISD.”
KXAS notes that the district’s student handbook makes no mention of haircuts, saying only that students caught violating the dress code “will be given an opportunity to correct the problem at school” and that the student may be assigned “to in-school suspension for the remainder of the day” if the issue isn’t resolved. Kiesling would have likely preferred a suspension to his “Dumb and Dumber” haircut.
Granted, it’s not just about a bad haircut.
“I know it’s just hair. It grows back. But it’s not like she just gave him a haircut. She hurt his self-esteem. His self-image. That’s the problem,” Martin said.
The reaction to this now-viral story has been mixed.
“I’ve gotten a lot of messages from people who don’t know anything about the situation. They have only heard the story second-hand and think I am being dramatic,” she said. “But I have also received a lot of support,” Martin said to the Glen Rose Reporter.
The reactions on social media are similar:
What makes anyone, much less a teacher, think they can cut a student’s hair? Didn’t this happen a bit ago in a school wrestling situation? WTF? This momma would have been livid if anyone cut my child’s hair w/o permission. ?
— joeysartoriginals (@Hillhippie520) February 23, 2019
What?!!!! Department of education must reevaluate the procedures & rules of hiring ??s.This behavior will have a negative impact on the? for the rest of his life. Firing her is not the only punishment but also she should have same hair cut by the principal in front of all?en.
— Ash (@Ash62939047) February 23, 2019
I pray the young man can get through this. That is so awful & the teacher should be fired and forced to be educated oh how to treat people no matter what they look like or who they are.
— JAY STONES (@JAYSTONES1) February 22, 2019
People need to get a thicker skin over this stuff. Parent should have taken care of it. Barbers are about $12.
— Mike (@IrishMike_076) February 22, 2019
How is this story going public going to help ? I don’t understand ?!
— Dan M Lee (@danmleephoto) February 22, 2019
The latter Twitter user had a valid point. Because the story went viral, now everybody knows about Kiesling’s haircut. In the words of President Donald Trump, “Not good.”
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