Margaret Gieszinger, a teacher at University Preparatory High School in Visalia, California, was arrested after forcibly cutting a student’s hair in her class while belting out The Star Spangled Banner on Wednesday, December 5.
Gieszinger was later arrested on suspicion of corporal injury to a child with her bail set at $100,000, according to the Daily Mail.
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An Instagram video shows Margaret Gieszinger, 52, demands a student to sit down for an unwanted haircut while she belts out the national anthem and dramatically tossed the chunk of hair behind her.
According to KFSN-TV, it was first period inside Gieszinger’s chemistry class while a bizarre chain of events taking off. Students said the teacher came into class with a pair of scissors declaring it was “haircut day.”
“We think she’s going to try to be funny and be like ‘Oh did you really think I was going to cut his hair?’ But she did cut a hair off, and she started singing the Star Spangled Banner and she was singing it really loudly as she ceremoniously tossed a chunk of hair behind her,” a student who wanted to remain anonymous told KFSN.
The student then ran to the school’s main office to get help.
College of the Sequoias police responded to the classroom after receiving a report of child endangerment involving a teacher and a “pair of scissors,” police chief Kevin Mizner told the Visalia Times-Delta.
The arrest followed two videos posted to social media showed Gieszinger chasing students in the classroom while singing the national anthem. In one clip, a male student is seen sitting in a chair at the front of the classroom as Gieszinger cuts off his hair.
When the student tries to get up and walk back to his desk, Gieszinger says: “You’re not done.”
She is also seen approaching a female student and appearing to grab a chunk of her hair to cut.
Other students in the class scream and run out of the room as Gieszinger continues singing the national anthem.
“I hope I never have to see her at the school again because I know for a fact I can never see her as a respectable authority figure in my life,” the student added.
Principal Eric Thiessen has confirmed Wednesday afternoon that all students are safe.
Who Is Margaret Gieszinger?
Gieszinger of Exeter is a science teacher at University Preparatory High School in Visalia, California. She was captured on two Instagram videos showing her cutting off a male student’s hair and grabbing another female student’s hair to cut while singing the national anthem.
Students claimed they don’t know what triggered her behavior but say she had a similar breakdown earlier this week.
“I know that on Monday she had another freak out because a test is missing or something. She accused of the students of taking the test,” a student said.
Lilli Gates, one of Gieszinger’s students, told the Times-Delta that the incident is out of character for the teacher.
“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,” Gates said. “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.”
The Commission of Teacher Credentialing confirmed Gieszinger’s credential was suspended in 2007 and 2016, the Times-Delta reported.
Each suspension lasted 14 days, but it was unclear why her credentials were suspended on those occasions.