During the last week in Thunder Bay a young native boys hair was chopped off by his teacher’s assistant. Since this time the Crown and police have refused to charge the woman accused. Some people may not understand why this is such a big deal, so let’s break it down.
The child was touched without permission, during this time the assailant was holding what we can easily refer to as a “deadly weapon” given that you could hypothetically be killed by a pair of scissors. In fact, it is not a stretch to imagine this happening.
The child is native and therefore having long hair is not simply a fashion statement but rather something tied to the child’s culture. Cutting off the hair of male native children was regularly done at residential schools, where the goal was to “kill the indian and save the child“.
Based on these facts I would say it would be fair to charge the teacher with assault using a weapon or causing bodily harm. It would be a stretch but I also think this is a race based hate crime.
The point of this post is to spread the word about this horrific action and to encourage people to contact their local politicians and demand that action be taken in this seriously. You may also want to write the school officials and express your opinions to them.
*** Cross-Posted on the Feministing Community ***
*** This post also made the main page on Feministing – Thanks Editors!!! ***
*** Thanks to DocuDharma for referencing this article ***
*** Thanks to Native American Netroots for referencing this article ***