Science teacher arrested after she forcibly cuts student's hair while singing 'The Star Spangled Banner'

On December 5, the College of the Sequoias Police took 52-year-old University Preparatory High School science teacher, Margaret Gieszinger into custody


                            Science teacher arrested after she forcibly cuts student's hair while singing 'The Star Spangled Banner'

A school teacher in California was caught on camera forcing a student to sit down on a chair and then proceeding to cut his hair while singing the National Anthem. She has since been arrested on child endangerment charges. On December 5, the College of the Sequoias Police took the 52-year-old University Preparatory High School science teacher, Margaret Gieszinger, into custody. Jail records state that she remains behind bars at the Tulare County Jail on a $100,000 bond.

In the one-minute video that was taken of the incident by a student, PEOPLE reported that Gieszinger can be seen forcing a student to sit down on a chair in front of the classroom. She yells, "Take a seat," while pointing at the chair in front of her.

Margaret Gieszinger (Source: Tulare County Sheriff's Department)
Margaret Gieszinger (Source: Tulare County Sheriff's Department)

She then starts cutting the student's hair with a pair of scissors while loudly singing 'The Star Spangled Banner'. The teacher is also seen throwing large chunks of the teen's hair behind her as she cuts it off. When the boy's classmates ask him to get up, he runs away before Gieszinger pauses and says: "Next! I’m not done. Next! Next!"

The teacher then starts looking around the room and tells her students, "I'm going to pick you out." Gieszinger is seen pointing at one of the students out of frame who is heard yelling, "Don't touch me!" 

She starts walking towards her students with the scissors and is seen eventually grabbing one of the female student's hair. Other students around her can be heard yelling, "No, Miss G! Miss. G!" The science teacher starts singing the National Anthem again and raises the scissors over her head. The student manages to flee.

Moments later, the remaining students run out of the classroom screaming in terror. Gieszinger can be heard singing loudly in the background the whole time. The students told local media that the way their teacher behaved came as a shock.

Lilli Gates, one of the students, told the Visalia Times Delta: "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. What she did to my classmates and [me] 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."

One of the other students told ABC30 that the incident happened during the first period and has now changed the way he views his teacher forever. He said: "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."

Meanwhile, authorities have finished their initial investigation and will be presenting their findings to the Tulare District Attorney's Office. In one of the statements that was obtained by PEOPLE, the Tulare County Office of Education said that Gieszinger will not be able to go back to her classroom and a substitute teacher will be taking her place.

The statement read: "The staff at University Preparatory High School and the administration at the Tulare County Office of Education are deeply concerned for the students who were subjected to the disturbing behavior in Margaret Gieszinger’s class yesterday morning."

It continued: "To support all students on the UPHS campus today, we have sent top counselors from our mental health services program. They will continue to be available to the students as long as necessary." It still isn't clear at this point whether the teacher has an attorney or has entered a plea.