Her father punished her over hair color
A mother was shocked to see her teenage daughter with much shorter hair after picking her up for a visitation. The devastated teen said that her father and stepmother forcibly shaved off her long locks because they were punishing her. The most stunning thing about the case is what they were “punishing” her for: dying her hair.
Now, police are investigating the event as child abuse.
On Jan. 31, Christin Johnson from Fostoria, OH posted three photos of her 13-year-old daughter Kelsey to Facebook. In the first photo, Kelsey was showing off brand-new blonde highlights she added to her long hair for her birthday. The next photos showed Kelsey sobbing with her gorgeous locks gone.
“This is what my daughter looked like Sunday when I took her home and the other two pics is what happened today before she was brought to me… all over me having highlights put in her hair for her birthday,” explained Christin.
Kelsey’s father and stepmother despised the blonde highlights so much that they forced her to cut off most of her hair. It’s unclear whether they took her to a salon to do it, or if they did it themselves.
Support poured in for Kelsey as people said that she was beautiful despite the length of her hair. “Kelsey, you are so beautiful. Don’t let them steal your happiness. This is what they want. Be strong. Be happy. You will overcome it. Your hair will grow again. Every single inch of your new hair will make you stronger,” wrote Maira Libero from Brazil.
“As a father, this is appalling and disgusting. Destroying trust, self-esteem and likely holding someone against their will, inflicting physical abuse. Hopefully you are able to stop your daughter from being subject to this kind of abuse,” Facebook user Drew Tyler wrote.
Many other commenters also believed that Kelsey was the victim of child abuse, and Christin decided to call the police to investigate.
“I’ve been doing this since ’92 and I’ve never had a case I would say that’s like this. Mom was upset with how her child was being cared for — lack of better terms,” Haskins Police Chief Colby Carroll told FOX 8 WJW. Charges have not been filed yet, but Kelsey’s father and stepmother have been placed on leave from their posts as volunteer firefighters.
On Feb. 3, Christin posted that she took her daughter to Lady Jane’s on Glendale salon to have a wig styled so that she can have long hair again. “She got her smile back because of you ladies and your selfless acts of kindness! We truly appreciate you ladies so much,” Christin wrote.
Christin also created a GoFundMe campaign on Feb. 5 to help with the added costs that the family incurred since Kelsey was removed from her father’s home. Kelsey didn’t return to her dad’s house to get her clothes or belongings. Christin also wants to get Kelsey a back-up wig since she’ll be wearing them for months if she doesn’t want to reveal her shorter hair.
Several parents have used unflattering forced haircuts as a form punishment, often showcasing the haircuts on social media. Not all of the parents are investigated for assault.
Do you think that forcibly cutting a child’s hair is abuse or just a fitting punishment? Let us know what you think in the comments and SHARE this story.