A Star-Spangled Meltdown

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Jessie Kessler

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Paint the Town Yellow
April 23, 2019

A California chemistry teacher has lost her job and is facing multiple criminal charges after a cell phone video emerged showing her forcibly cutting a male student’s hair while belting out an incorrect rendition of the National Anthem.

Margaret Gieszinger, 52, showed up to class waving a pair of scissors in the air, saying “it’s Haircut Day” and that if she doesn’t have a volunteer, she will pick someone. A male student volunteers and sits while she begins to cut and sing. As events unfold, one student reportedly runs to the main office to ask for help. The male victim in shock, after a few seconds, gets up and away from the teacher who then directs her scissors at a female students’ hair. She grabs the girl’s hair preparing to cut but the girl yanks her hair away and screams. After the scream, chaos ensues as the students run for the exit.

Gieszinger got arrested for child endangerment and other misdemeanors. It was noted that she had been acting strangely the days leading up to her breakdown and that her teaching credentials had been suspended numerous times before the incident.

Gieszinger was released from jail in Tulare County on December 7, after posting $100,000 bail. She has been ordered to stay at least 100 yards away from University Preparatory High School. The Tulare County Office of Education has made counselors from their mental health services program available to any students who need to talk about the incident. University Preparatory High School promises that Gieszinger will never return to its classrooms. She could also have 3.5 years in prison if convicted.

Gieszinger’s husband says that the behavior shown in the cell phone video was completely out of character for his wife. Saying, “She doesn’t do stuff like that…It’s not her. It’s not who she is. So I don’t know what was going on with her. I don’t have any clue as to why she did that.” He also states that the event “is beyond anything I could imagine.”

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YIoJ_fqulw&t=1s

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