Teacher arrested after allegedly cutting student's hair while singing the national anthem

Margaret Gieszinger’s mugshot. (Photo: Courtesy of Tulare County Sheriffs Department)

A high school science teacher in Visalia, Calif., has been arrested on suspicion of felony child endangerment after videos emerged of her cutting a student’s hair with a pair of scissors while singing the national anthem, the local Visalia Times Delta newspaper reports.

On Dec. 5, Margaret Gieszinger, a 52-year-old teacher at the University Preparatory High School, was reportedly filmed singing as she hacked away at a male student’s hair, telling him, “You’re not done” as he tried to move away. She then allegedly attempted to cut the hair of a female student while other teens shouted and fled the room.

Principal Eric Thiessen confirmed that students were safe but declined to comment further. Gieszinger was arrested after College of the Sequoias police were called to the scene, with bail set at $100,000.

Sources say that Gieszinger’s erratic behavior may have been the result of frustration with her students after a test reportedly went missing earlier in the week. She is said to have suspected students were to blame, and she allegedly made one girl cry.

Sara Rocha, whose child attends the school, told the Visalia Times Delta that students were concerned about Gieszinger.

“They asked for help from administrators on Monday, but were told they had to go back to class,” Rocha said, adding that “the fact kids asked for help and didn’t get it makes me really sad.” 

The incident involving scissors occurred two days later. An investigation by the Tulare County Office of Education is now underway, and it has emerged that Gieszinger’s teaching credentials were suspended for unknown reasons twice in the past, in 2007 and 2016. 

Even so, at least one student is standing by the educator.

“When everything was going on I was terrified, and I so badly wanted to blame her,” student Lilli Gates told the newspaper. “I was scared she was going to come back. 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.”

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