People in California are crazy. I should know — I live there.
But sometimes, “crazy” gets so crazy that it’s even crazy to the crazy. This would be such a case.
A Golden State teacher has lost her job and is looking at multiple criminal charges due to unhinged antics carried out in the classroom and preserved forever by that most ubiquitous of media, cellphone video.
52-year-old Margaret Gieszinger was teaching at University Preparatory High School in Visalia, when she decided to break out the scissors, order a student to the front of the class, and proceed to cut his hair while singing a key-changing rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” No word yet on whether anyone knelt.
In the video, the student gets up and walks away after losing chunks of hair, at which point ol’ Margaret holds the scissors over her head and insists that another student come to the front.
She declares that a pupil will be chosen if no one volunteers. She then continues her song as she walks around the room, lunging at one girl and then pulling her hair to the side and attempting to chop it. The girl gets the heck out of the room, along with everyone else.
What a weirdo.
The male student’s attorney, Mark Vogt, explained to CNN that he didn’t know what to do:
“He couldn’t believe what was happening. He, frankly, didn’t know what to do. He thought to himself, ‘Me or anybody else, she’s coming for someone else.’ And in the video, of course, we see that later. But he was absolutely terrified.”
This wasn’t Margaret’s first episode of looniness. She was disciplined twice before, once with a one-week suspension, and another lasting two. The reasons remain undisclosed.
I say, to a situation where a teacher’s been suspended twice, the same thing I said in response to teachers at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill holding students’ grades hostage until a confederate monument is removed (here): Shouldn’t she just be fired, then?
What the heck was she doing still teaching? As stated by ABC 30, “Her family says she’s experienced situations before exemplifying her [craziness].”
So recounts her sister:
“She has had outbursts of bizarre behavior since she was a little girl. It wasn’t so surprising really. It was just shocking that this video had gone viral.”
So again, what was she doing teaching?
More from ABC:
According to a police report, days before the scissors incident the school received complaints from students and a parent about her actions toward getting students to not use their cellphones in class. The principal, who said he talked to Gieszinger before class that day, said she “appeared a bit anxious that morning but nothing that caused him any concern.”
When questioned by police, Gieszinger told them she brought scissors to her class to give a foreign exchange student – who was living with her family – a hair cut.
In the report she states he had “been acting like a ding-dong.”
To quote Friends, “Pot, this is kettle. You’re black.”
Margaret was sent to jail and charged with six misdemeanors, one for forcibly cutting the hair of a high school student.
She’s checked herself into a hospital and is seeking psychological help.
Schools haven’t exactly been hitting it out of the park lately. Just a few examples:
- West Virginia University student investigated by the school over his Halloween costume (here)
- Standup comedian has his mic cut at Columbia due to inappropriate jokes (here)
- The Vagina Monologues gets canceled at Eastern Michigan University because it excludes women who don’t possess vaginas (here)
- Nebraska’s Manchester Elementary School bans Christmas, in every way (here)
The school scene needs to get a lot more sane. Hopefully, University Preparatory High School has learned its lesson, and they won’t be hiring any more nuts. Maybe Margaret Gieszinger can get a new job — cutting hair. And perhaps this time, sans the National Anthem.
God Bless America.
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