- ABC 30
- Margaret Gieszinger, a science teacher at University Preparatory High School in Visalia, California, was arrested on Wednesday.
- She had been filmed singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” while cutting a student’s hair at the front of a classroom.
- Her husband expressed shock and concern over the video, saying, “that’s out of her character.”
The husband of a California teacher who was filmed forcibly chopping off a student’s hair while belting out the national anthem has expressed shock and confusion over the incident.
- Tulare County Sheriff’s Department
Margaret Gieszinger, a science teacher at University Preparatory High School in Visalia, was arrested on Wednesday after video of the incident was posted online.
She is now being held at the Tulare County Pre-Trial Facility on $100,000 bail on suspicion of felony child endangerment, the Visalia Times Delta reported.
Her husband, who has not been publicly named, said Gieszinger’s actions were totally out of character.
“It’s a shock to me, that’s out of her character. She doesn’t do stuff like that,” he told ABC 30. “It’s not her. It’s not who she is. So I don’t know what was going on with her. I don’t have any clue as to why she did that.”
In videos of the incident, Gieszinger is first seen standing in front of a student, cutting portions of the student’s hair off and throwing them behind her.
As the student attempted to get up, Gieszinger said, “You’re not done.”
She is then pictured trying to go after another student before children started to run out of the classroom.
People at the school had noticed Gieszinger acting strange earlier in the week, and had reportedly accused students of taking a test that went missing on Monday, according to the Visalia Times Delta.
One of Gieszinger’s students, Lilli Gates, told the newspaper that the incidents this week were completely out of character.
“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,” Gates said. “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.”
Tulare County Office of Education, which oversees the high school, is investigating the incident.
Jim Vidak, superintendent of Tulare County schools, said Gieszinger will not return to her classroom and a substitute will take over for the rest of the semester.
Visalia Times Delta reported that, according to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, Gieszinger’s teaching credential was suspended in 2007 and 2016, for two weeks each time.
The reasons behind the suspensions remain unclear.