The mother of Lamya Cammon, the girl who had her teacher cut off a braid of hers during class has spoken to Essence Magazine. Here is a segment from the interview.
ESSENCE.com: Do you think it should have been more?
CUNNINGHAM: I think it should have been child abuse. It might not be a physical but it is her hair and her hair is apart of her body.
ESSENCE.com: Have you ever had any problems in the past with this teacher?
CUNNINGHAM: No. When she first started going to school, Lamya had problems but this year she’s been doing pretty good in school.
ESSENCE.com: Was the teacher apologetic?
CUNNINGHAM: No, because she felt like what she did wasn’t wrong.
ESSENCE.com: Why do you say that?
CUNNINGHAM: She kept saying, “I didn’t cut her hair,” “I cut this part.” And I said, “that is her hair.” Her hair is actually long. I think some of the teachers are used to a lot of little girls wearing microbraids or extensions. And that is another thing that was brought up. She was trying to say that she didn’t know that was her real hair.
ESSENCE.com: What ethnicity is the teacher?
CUNNINGHAM: She is White, and the school is in a predominately Black neighborhood.
ESSENCE.com: What has since happened to little Lamya?
CUNNINGHAM: They moved her to another classroom. She isn’t happy because she’s been with those kids for two years, you know, they’re her friends, they have bonded.
ESSENCE.com: As a mother, how does this situation make you feel?
CUNNINGHAM: At first I was in shock. It went from shock to a little bit of anger after I talked to my daughter’s teacher. I feel let down because a lot of our schools have been getting shut down because of low attendance and some parents are sending their kids to charter schools so I am putting my faith in MTS to provide the best education possible for my kids.
Lamya Cammon is angry, confused, and scared by the incident last week in which the apparently frustrated teacher cut one of her braids off after she wouldn’t stop playing with them in class.
Cammon, 7, sports a few dozen braids, but one is conspicuously absent.
“She told me to stop playing with it. Then cut it off and sent me back to my desk,” Cammon said.
Cammon’s a first-grader at Congress Elementary and said her teacher used a pair of classroom scissors to cut off one of the braids after she absent-mindedly kept playing with them.