Education

Mother files police report after she says Althoff student cut her daughter’s hair

Marie Wicker said a student at Althoff Catholic High School cut about 7 inches of her daughter’s long hair with scissors.
Marie Wicker said a student at Althoff Catholic High School cut about 7 inches of her daughter’s long hair with scissors. Provided

A parent of an Althoff Catholic High School student says her daughter’s hair was cut against her will by a fellow student, while a group of students watched.

The parent, Marie Wicker, said she has made a report to police.

Wicker’s 15-year-old daughter is a student at Althoff. Wicker said on Friday, another student there got her daughter’s attention in a hallway after school, held her and cut about 7 inches of her long hair with scissors.

Principal Dave Harris said there had been an incident at the school Friday, which was investigated and dealt with based on Althoff’s policies.

Harris said he couldn’t provide more details to protect the privacy of the two students involved.

The family went to the school Tuesday to watch surveillance video footage, according to Wicker. She said it showed one student cutting her daughter’s hair and more than five students watching nearby.

“It made me sick to watch my daughter get treated like that and the large number of students involved that took enjoyment out of defacing her,” Wicker said. “... She just doesn’t understand why they did it to her.”

A Belleville police officer was also at the school Tuesday because of Wicker’s report, she said.

Belleville Police Master Sgt. Todd Keilbach confirmed that Wicker filed a report, but said he couldn’t comment on it because it involves juveniles.

The same day that Wicker said a student cut her daughter’s hair, there was a physical confrontation between 10-year-olds at another Belleville school — in Whiteside District 115. Classes had ended for the day at both schools, but students were still in the buildings.

Wicker thinks Althoff should add more anti-bullying efforts, such as an anonymous hotline.

Some public school districts in the area have hotlines for parents, students or community members to report bullying and other concerns about student safety; those districts include Collinsville Unit 10, Roxana District 1 and Alton District 11.

Harris said Althoff students can talk to any staff member about bullying.

“At Althoff, we do take the safety and the well-being of our students very seriously,” he said.

Dr. Catherine Bradshaw, a national expert in bullying prevention, discusses approaches to avoid in bullying prevention and response.

Lexi Cortes: 618-239-2528, @lexicortes

What to do if your child is bullied

The following advice on who parents should contact about bullying comes from the Illinois State Board of Education:

  • First, contact the school principal.
  • If your concern remains, consider contacting the district superintendent for help.
  • If your concerns are still not resolved, consider contacting the school board.
  • If your concern remains, consider contacting the regional office of education in your county.

Source: www.isbe.net/Pages/Bullying-Prevention.aspx

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