A teacher, Margaret Gieszinger is facing six charges after forcibly cutting a pupil's hair in lessons and brandishing scissors at another while singi
A teacher, Margaret Gieszinger is facing six charges after forcibly cutting a pupil’s hair in lessons and brandishing scissors at another while singing the Star Spangled Banner.
Margaret Gieszinger was held on $100,000 bail before being released after a video emerged of the incident in her California classroom earlier this week.
The video, which has been posted on social media, shows her telling a student to “take a seat”, before she starts singing the US national anthem loudly as she snips off locks of his hair and casually tosses them behind her.
She then says “Next… I’m not done… next…”, snips her scissors in the air, before pointing at another student.
The teacher walks up to a teenage girl as someone in the room says “No, Miss G”. She then grabs her hair and lifts the scissors into the air while youngsters run for the exit.
Some are heard screaming as she continues to sing the anthem at the top of her voice.
Sky News has seen the video but has decided not to show it over concerns for the welfare of those shown.
Eric Thiessen, the principal of University Preparatory High School, Visalia, told local paper the Visalia Times Delta “all students are safe” but directed further questions to the local authority.
Mrs Gieszinger has been charged with six misdemeanour offences, including false imprisonment and cruelty to a child, according to US news channel ABC 30.
Some students and former students suggested her behaviour was out of character.
One, who Sky News is not naming, told the Times Delta: “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.
“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.”
Another former student on Reddit, who called themselves TheOfficialPope, said he saw her in Los Angeles the week before when she was behaving in an odd manner.
A number of other unnamed students told ABC 30 that the 52-year-old teacher had shown other examples of “mental instability” and a psychologist told the station that she showed signs of having a “psychotic episode or a manic episode where a person’s sense of reality is compromised”.
Mrs Gieszinger’s husband said he could not explain why she had behaved the way she did.
He told ABC 30: “It’s a shock to me, that’s out of her character. She doesn’t do stuff like that. 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.”
When she was released from jail, she covered her face but was seen crying by ABC 30 reporters, and refused to comment.
Some students criticised the school for not acting on previous concerns expressed by youngsters at the school.
Tulare County’s education department released a statement on Thursday saying the teacher would not be returning to her classroom at the school, where she has worked since August of this year.