Parents outraged after middle school counselor shaves student's head

CREATED Jan 10, 2014

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LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. -- Parents of a sixth grade student at Harns Marsh Middle School are outraged after a school counselor shaved their son's head at school after he showed up with an inappropriate hair cut. 

Stephanie Fernandez said her husband-- who owns a barber shop-- gave their 11-year-old son Danny a special design in his hair last weekend for the Miami Heat game.  The design included the numbers "305," which she said represent the Miami area code. 

When Danny arrived at school Wednesday, school administrators told him the design violated school policy and was gang related.  Danny's stepfather, Randaldo Fernandez, said the assistant principal of the school called him and since Ranaldo couldn't pick up Danny at that moment, the stepfather planned to fix the haircut after school. 

"Our agreement was he would come to the barber shop after school, get his hair cut and that was it," Randaldo said. 

But, that didn't happen.  Instead, a school counselor shaved off Danny's design.  

"Where did the clippers come from? How sanitary were they? Who's used them before?" questioned Danny's mother. 

Danny said the counselor had clippers at the school and shaved his head in the storage room of the school.

Lee County School District officials confirmed the incident happened but have a different account of it.  According to the Director of Communications, Amity Chandler, Danny's stepfather agreed to let the counselor cut Danny's hair to avoid having in-school suspension.  Nonetheless, she said the incident shouldn't have happened. 

"While the School Counselor followed the wishes of the student and instructions of the student’s stepfather that were provided over the phone in the presence of several witnesses, the District acknowledges the action taken by personnel were not appropriate," she said. 

Chandler said district officials will review the incident to determine if any disciplinary measures should be taken against the counselor. Danny's mother said she has already arranged to have her son switch middle schools.