Okay, this definitely qualifies as unusual.
Imagine wanting to do something special for your daughter’s birthday, so you let her get the cute blonde highlights she’s been wanting. And they look adorable! So you take a picture and send her on her way to visit with her father for a few days. Now imagine her dad goes and gets all of her freshly-dyed hair chopped off as some kind of sick punishment for her new multi-toned hairstyle.
A viral Facebook post by a distraught mother from Haskins, Ohio alleges that’s exactly what happened, and the haircut is being investigated as a potential case of child abuse.
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!Posted by Christin Johnson on Wednesday, January 31, 2018
The post, written and shared by Christin Johnson on January 31st, suggests that the child’s father and stepmother deliberately and maliciously ordered the child a haircut she did not want, resulting in a style that’s dramatically shorter and close to the scalp – much like a boy’s hair would be. Johnson’s allegation is that the haircut was done in order to punish her and her daughter for the offending birthday highlights. And like any mother would do, she’s taking her concerns all the way to the top.
Haskins Police and Wood County Children’s Services are investigating whether the child’s father and stepmother ordering such a drastic and unwanted change to the child’s body qualifies as abuse, especially because the child was so visibly upset with the results.
Twitter users reacted to the story with a ton of sympathy for the poor girl’s situation:
This makes me so sad and ANGRY. I want to cry with her. Shaming is never a way to parent your child. These parents should be held accountable. Child abuse is not just physical abuse but can be mental and emotional abuse as well. Poor baby girl. #livid— 🌊⛵🌴Brandi🌴⛵🌊 (@brandisco) February 7, 2018
I don’t know if I would call it child abuse but I would say over the top and mean to cut the child’s hair. Why not just get the highlights taken out? #EverybodyTalks— Nicole “Agent 51” Landry (@nicole370) February 7, 2018
It's a disgusting humiliation tactic which won't do anything but destroy that beautiful and sweet girl's sense of trust, stability, and self-esteem. it's the worst kind of abuse there is. It's the kind that will leave a sense of betrayal and trauma forever. #everybodytalks— Lauren (@lauren11587) February 7, 2018
The father and stepmother, volunteer firefighters in Middleton Township, have been put on leave while the investigation takes place. Fire Chief Steve Asmus says they will remain on leave until the investigation has concluded, but added that the couple has worked under him for two years and has never had any issues regarding their work.
It’s important to note that so far, no charges have been laid. But here’s hoping her hair grows back nice and quick.