Seven-year-old Tru Robinson had natural brown ringlets that swept the middle of her back. At day care, she’d wear them up in pigtails – until staff decided to shave them off entirely.
The girl’s mother, Denise Robinson, says carers at Little Heroes Group Home, Connecticut, “violated” her daughter by shearing her locks without parental consent. Worse yet, Robinson claims, staff at the school told the child her hair would “grow back straight.”
The distraught mum opened up about the incident on Facebook.
“Tru was assaulted yesterday at school and anyone who knows me know that I never claim racism. But why was my daughter’s head shaved?”
“There are three other girls in her class, two white girls, one black, none of these girls got scaled. Why Tru??” she wrote.
“My child is mixed race and her hair WAS FULL and curly… She DID NOT AND I REPEAT [NOT] HAVE HEAD LICE OR BUGS!! SO WHY DID THIS HAPPEN?”
The behavioural school, where Tru stays part-time, said the haircut was necessary for hygienic reasons.
“The program employs a diverse staff that is attentive to the needs of all children. Decisions regarding grooming are based on a variety of factors, including hygiene,” it stated.
“A review of the circumstances is underway to determine what occurred and, if necessary, appropriate action will be taken.”
But Robinson strongly disagrees, arguing that she should have at least received a phone call to ask her permission.
“There was no hygienic reason for them to shave my child’s head. There was no head lice, there were no bed bugs. There was no – what I refer to – as rasta locks going on,” she told NECN.
“Her hair was two pony tails on the side on Saturday and it was braided in the ponytails and there was nothing wrong.”
Robinson is taking legal action against the children’s home and plans move her daughter out of the facility.
“I was told a clinician gave permission to Tru to have this haircut done,” she said.
“I am very upset. And I’m not going to stop being upset because I feel like my child was assaulted and violated.”
The family’s lawyer, Richard Kendall, told CBS Boston it was “appalling” that Tru was told her hair would grow back straight after it was shaved off.
Officials at Little Heroes Group Home have said privacy laws prevent them from further commenting but confirmed a review was being conducted.
“For them to do this, it’s very upsetting, not just to me but to her.”
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