Message from Montie

« Chris Brown leaves Twitter, how to Zazzle.com pulls 'Pray for Obama Psalm »

Seven-year-old Lamya Cammon gets hair cut off by Milwaukee teacher

user-pic
Message from Montie

Shamontiel is the author of two novels: "Change for a Twenty" and "Round Trip." Check her out at shamontiel.com.



My older brother warned me about Ms. Ricks, my new third grade teacher, who loved to cuff people behind the ear when she was upset with them. But I was a studious kid and didn't look for trouble, so imagine my embarrassment when Ms. Ricks slapped me upside the head for not knowing the answer to a math problem. The class erupted in laughter, and I cried for the rest of class. Twenty-one years later, I still remember that. But when I read WISN's report about what happened to Lamya Cammon by her first grade teacher at Congress Elementary School, my incident seemed lightweight.

 

A Milwaukee teacher was charged with disorderly conduct and a $175 fine for cutting off one of the braids of Lamya Cammon. Why? Because the teacher got tired of her playing with her hair. I guess Chris Rock's "Good Hair" movie wasn't enough proof of how black women and girls regard their hair. You do not cut anybody's hair because you're tired of them playing with it. I don't care who you are. I've never even heard of a black mother cutting her daughter's hair off. Do you know how long it takes for black females' hair to grow back? We don't wake up a month later and the hair is just back to its previous length.

 

But this isn't about beauty. The Milwaukee Teachers Education Association representatives blamed it on stress levels from budgetary cuts, according to Milwaukee's WISN.com. If a child is being that disruptive with her hair, send her out of class, call a parent, make her stand in the corner. Consider putting her hair in a high ponytail so she can't get to it as much. But cutting it off? That's at least a few months to a year to grow back, judging from the photo of Lamya Cammon. That's not like taking away a toy and giving it back at the end of class. This girl has to live with kids teasing her and the teacher still roaming the halls. Plus that's something that may stick with this child no matter how much the teacher apologizes.

 

If a teacher is so stressed out over her pay, she needs to find a new job. I don't care what the economy is like or the job market. You do not take your frustration over the education budget out on a seven-year-old child. I think she should be fired or voluntarily cut her own hair off. Then she really will have to reconsider her pay and decide whether she can handle herself better. I always thought it was children that should be watched while handling scissors. I had no idea scissors were so dangerous in a teacher's hand.

Recommended

[?]

Recent Posts

Subscribe

Leave a comment

13 Comments

HinterlandGazette said:

default userpic local-auth auth-type-mt

Thanks for the link! The action of the teacher was totally baseless and she should be punished by the Milwaukee board of education. This is a disgrace. If she can't control a first grader then she doesn't belong in a classroom, especially when she her role is to impart knowledge to children during their formative years. This woman is clearly unfit for the classroom. Stress? We have all been under pressure in our professional lives, but I am sure we haven't rocked the boat in such a manner. A $175 ticket is an insult.

Message from Montie said:

user-pic

The worst part about this is kids tend to copy adults. So what if another child in the classroom decides she's (or he's) going to cut off someone's hair because the teacher got away with it. A $175 is not something they can see. That teacher needs to explain to the entire class how absolutely wrong she was for doing this. If the rest of those kids leave that classroom thinking this was all a big joke, I just see a Domino effect at that school.

tmfl said:

default userpic local-auth auth-type-mt

The school district and teacher ought to be sued, especially for only fining the teacher $175. That was an insult. Not only should she be paying more, but she should have lost her job as well. While they may view this as something small and insignificant, I think this indicates a bigger problem. As you pointed out, it shows her lack of control. I remember girls being jealous of the other girls with longer hair as a child. So what kind of example does this set for students? I think it is showing the kids that hey, it’s okay to cut their hair. What in the world? And just imagine if the students started doing what the teacher did; they would be expelled, suspended and more. So why was this teacher not expelled or at least suspended without pay? The school board doesn’t know how dumb they sound saying the teacher is stressed about pay. Hell, being stressed about pay caused her to cut off a student’s braid, what will the stress of an added financial burden—the $175 fine—cause her to do?

I really hope the family sues because the stress for the child is going to be cost her a lot more, mentally, than $175.

I see why people take the law into their own hands. If this were my child, I would take the law into my own hands, using my two hands…if you know what I mean.

Message from Montie said:

user-pic

TMFL,
Thanks for commenting. I also wonder how long it would take me before the teacher would be bald. Maybe I could practice self-control, but that's something hard to hear. A grown woman just cut your daughter's hair off. *shaking my head* What I missed when I wrote this blog that boggles my mind even more now was that the girl was transferred to another classroom because of the teacher. So that means Lamya Cammon now has to play catch-up with another teacher's lesson plan. It's like she's being punished twice.

Jake said:

default userpic local-auth auth-type-mt

I am beyond livid. First of all, this teacher basically picked up a WEAPON to cut this young child's hair. If she was so upset & undone by the little girl playing with her hair, what would keep her from "accidentally" sticking a child with those scissors? What is little Lamya had moved and the teacher had cut her? Parents who cut their childrens' hair (or do anything with sharp objects) know it's not smart to grab a pair of scissors in anger. What keeps her from lashing out at another child? She should be removed, sued for her violent action (and I am not litigious, but this IS A CHILD!!!!) & then the school district should really be taken to task. This being an African American child makes it harder in terms of regrowth - particularly in braids, but this should be the case no matter the race, gender, etc. The woman PICKED UP A PAIR OF SCISSORS and came at a child. Period. I sound histrionic, but this infuriates me! She should be out! Thanks for letting me post Montie!!

Message from Montie said:

user-pic

Jake, thank you for posting. I was so caught offguard by the news that I had to re-read BlackPoliticalThought's post again. And then when I went to WISN to read more information, I was still shocked that the teacher is still there. And you're right about the scissors. This basically told a room full of seven and eight year olds that this is what you do when you're angry. And kids are far smarter than we give them credit for.

marketingmayor said:

default userpic local-auth auth-type-mt

Look- instead of bellyaching here on a blog, why don’t you put your outrage into a constructive path and sign on to the Board of Director’s Web Site and tell them what you think. Send a couple of emails.

I have lodged my outrage – really, if anyone EVER touched my child, let alone CUT HER HAIR, there would be a rabid mother on the loose. Let’s do something constructive together and let the school district know we will not tolerate this.

Contact Michael Bonds, President of the Milwaukee School Board and District Manager of this little girl’s school – Congress Elementary. He also sits on the Board’s committee for Safety and Climate with our Milwaukee Schools – oh – the irony!

Message from Montie said:

user-pic

Before you tell me what I should do, marketingmayor, how about you ask me did I? You'll be surprised to find out that I did contact the Web site about not pressing charges against the teacher. Don't assume what you don't know. If you have a problem with "bellyaching on a blog" that brings MORE attention to the issue and brings MORE publicity to the school for NOT pressing charges, then why are you reading the blog?

Marthastew said:

default userpic local-auth auth-type-mt

Regretfully, I sense there's something more sinister here. I can only assume that this is a white teacher and her intention was to demean the girl, because a female African-American teacher would be well aware of the extended time it takes to grow our hair that length. She should be fired for child abuse. If she is simply an adult who hates children, she shouldn't be allowed to teach.

Message from Montie said:

user-pic

The district attorney's office didn't file criminal charges against the teacher, and her name has not been released. Milwaukee Teachers Education Association didn't talk to WISN. I have no idea whether the teacher is black or white, and as far as I can find, her name has not been released. I can't go so far to say her intentions were to demean the girl instead of it being frustration nor can I say she's an adult who hates children. Who hates children and then decides to teach? I think that's a little overboard. Now whether she didn't like this one child, don't know. But what I do know is scissors shouldn't have come into play no matter what.

LindaSDF said:

default userpic local-auth auth-type-mt

What got me was the teacher said "What you gonna go home and tell your momma?" That reminds me of when I was a kid back in the '60's, when, if you got in trouble at school, you got in trouble at home, no matter what, the teacher was ALWAYS right. I mean, honestly, what DID this teacher think this child's momma was gonna do? She did just what I would have done. If this teacher is that stressed out, she should take a sabbatical at least. This is, to me, just inexcusable.

Message from Montie said:

user-pic

Linda SDF, that blew my mind too because it was like she was proud of it. I really think the apology was only for PR purposes. And as for the teacher being right, yes, unfortunately I remember that too and that was the '80s for me. In the example I gave of my teacher slapping me upside the head, my mother didn't do anything. She said she'd have to hear both sides. My father was very mad about what happened, but for whatever reason, I didn't tell him about it until a year or so later. I asked my mother what would she have done in this situation, and she still couldn't answer.

On one hand, I can understand why parents would want to stay out of the teacher's business in the classroom because too many parents try to be the teachers and screw it up for everybody. But then there are instances when a teacher simply takes it way too far. I don't feel like any teacher should be her hands on anybody. If this was my child, there would've been one new bald teacher at the school. That's all I'm saying.

Mary said:

default userpic local-auth auth-type-mt

THIS IS CHILD ABUSE. Why does this woman still have a job? i wouldnt want a teacher who cant control herself to work with my kids. She is so lucky the mother did not beat her face in. As a black woman, yes our hair does not grow very fast. To do this to a child is cruel. What's wrong with the school board up there?

Leave a Comment?

Some HTML is permitted: a, strong, em

What your comment will look like:

said:

what will you say?

Most Active Pages Right Now

ChicagoNow.com on Facebook