Robinson is suing a residential program called the Little Heroes Group Home in Dracut, Massachusetts, after
claiming that a clinician there shaved her daughter’s hair
Tru, age 7, whose
hair was previously long and curly, lives part-time at Little Heroes. Her mother said her daughter's hair was shaved without her permission.
“For them to do
this, it’s very upsetting, not just to me but to her,” Robinson told reporters.
Little Heroes Group Home is operated by the Justice
Resource Institute: a nonprofit organization that provides outpatient specialty
mental health services to disadvantaged communities. This co-ed intensive group
was designed "to provide a home-like environment where children (ages 5 to
11) can develop skills to manage complex trauma or mental health symptoms in
order to successfully transition to a permanent placement in the community."
daughter suffers from severe emotional challenges, was immediately drawn to the
program, but nowhere on the organization's website was there any mention of
unauthorized salon visits. Imagine Robinson's surprise when she saw her daughter with a buzz cut. That’s when the furious mother reached out to followers on
Facebook (in a post that has since been deleted), asking for help.
assaulted yesterday at school!" she wrote. "And anyone who knows me
knows I never claim racism! But why was my daughter's head shaved?"
Robinson went on to explain that her child is of mixed race and other children of different races did not have their heads shaved. Still, the
questions remain: Who gave permission to shave the young girl’s head, and what was
their reason for doing so?
According to Little
Heroes Home officials, their decision was based on poor hygiene. But Robinson disagrees.
no [hygienic] reason for them to shave my child’s head," she told NECN. Robinson also said that her daughter had no head lice, bed bugs or what she referred to as "rasta locks."
attorney, Richard Kendell, said that a volunteer from the program "informed
this 7-year-old biracial child that by shaving her head, her hair would
grow back straight."
Heroes Home later issued the following statement: "The program employs a diverse
staff that is attentive to the needs of all children. Decisions regarding
grooming are based on a variety of factors, including hygiene. We cannot
provide any information about any individual served by the program under
federal and state law."
They added that a review of the circumstances was under way to "determine what occurred
and, if necessary, appropriate action will be taken."
Hair—the scalp, too—can be a canvas. With enough patience, time, creativity and guts to go out in public, you can make your haircuts and hairstyles a form of body art that's less permanent and more noticeable than piercings and tattoos.