A tuft of hair stashed inside a paper bag for safekeeping is one of several details emerging from a “disturbing” incident that threw a California high school in the national spotlight last week.
Science teacher Margaret Gieszinger made headlines Dec. 5 after several videos surfaced that show the teacher seemingly forcibly cutting at least one student’s hair – while shouting the national anthem.
Court documents detail the bizarre scene and what witnesses say happened after students ran from the classroom at University Preparatory High School in Visalia.
One detail: Pieces of hair found in Gieszinger’s pricey purse.
According to court documents, officers found tufts of hair in a brown sack in Gieszinger’s Rebecca Minkoff purse and in a bathroom drawer at the teacher’s home.
A pair of blue-handled Rhythm brand scissors were also discovered in the handbag, according to police reports.
A total of 20 students filed written complaints about the incident.
Court documents also shed a light on Gieszinger’s thoughts following the incident.
College of the Sequoias Police Chief Kevin Mizner asked the teacher if she knew how fearful students may have been during the incident.
Gieszinger replied, “I bet.”
According to Mizner’s report, Gieszinger also said she felt bad for cutting one of her male student’s hair but that it was “already done.”
When asked if she planned the haircut, she said “I guess.” She added she was tired of the students’ “ridiculous behavior,” according to the police report.
During her interview with Mizner, Gieszinger also mentions a foreign exchange student who she said “talks a good game but cannot admit that he is not as smart as he says he is,” according to the report.
The haircut was originally planned for the exchange student, but someone else took his place, Gieszinger told police.
Tulare County Office of Education, which oversees the preparatory school, cannot confirm if the foreign exchange student is a UPHS student. It is “confidential student information,” according to Rob Herman, public information officer.
College of the Sequoias police responded to a classroom after reports of child endangerment involving a teacher and a “pair of scissors,” Mizner said. Students ran out of class and alerted staff.