In a week marked by President Donald Trump declaring himself “Tariff Man” and yet again losing his cool over the Russia investigation, the lunacy has continued on a lower level in California. A Visalia teacher was arrested on charges of felony child endangerment after she attacked students with a pair of scissors, successfully chopping off portions of at least one of the teenagers’ hair. The incident unfolded at the University Preparatory High School, a small institution on the campus of the state’s College of the Sequoias.
The Wednesday mayhem was captured on video that features the teacher — Margaret Gieszinger — loudly singing the National Anthem as she makes her way around the classroom, harassing her students.
The student who had their hair removed in available video tried to leave, but Gieszinger pressured them into staying in a chair at the front of the classroom. Eventually, at least some of the students fled the room screaming as she continued the behavior — including the loud singing.
There’s no apparent word as to a motive or explanation for the attack, although the teacher’s credential has been suspended twice for two week periods before for reasons not readily publicly available.
At least one parent close to the incident said tensions had begun to rise that Monday. At that time, the teacher lashed out at students after a test went missing to the point of leaving at least one student in tears. Students “asked for help from administrators… but were told they had to go back to class,” according to the parent, Sara Rocha.
Rocha insisted, speaking of students:
‘We have to take it seriously when they come to us. We absolutely need to listen to kids. This breaks my heart… The fact kids asked for help and didn’t get it makes me really sad.’
Student Lilli Gates explained her take:
‘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 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.’
Ironically enough, although again an exact explanation for the incident remains elusive, the National Anthem has figured especially prominently in the national political conversation in recent months thanks to President Donald Trump.
He’s ranted about the supposed drag on American society enacted by NFL players daring to peacefully protest during the anthem at games — so maybe the teacher thought she was on some kind of vigilante mission bringing Trump-ian justice back to the world… or something.
The lunacy caps off months of rising concern about violence at American schools that some have suggested be addressed by giving teachers firearms to fend off school shooters.
Do you think it would have been fitting if Margaret Gieszinger had a gun this week?
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