JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Jones County school officials concluded their investigation into accusations of a principle cutting a student's hair Wednesday. The Jones County School District superintendent said there is no evidence of the allegations and it appears the story was made up.
A social media post went viral Tuesday after Lattrice Averette shared pictures of her 11-year-old son's hair. In the Facebook post, the mother of the fourth-grader said she is shocked, claiming the principal at North Jones Elementary School cut her son's hair, taking away his cultural identity.
The young boy said it happened Monday during one of his classes while he was in school. He claimed he was called to the office without reason, and the principal cut off portions of his hair hanging in front of his face.
Jones County School District Superintendent Tommy Parker said the school concluded its investigation into the accusation on Wednesday. After interviewing students, faculty and reviewing surveillance footage from the school, Parker said there is no evidence to support the accusation.
"Based on what we found, we found absolutely no evidence that there is any proof what so ever that his allegations of having his hair cut at school exist," Parker said.
Pointing to surveillance footage from a camera outside the office, Parker said the fourth-grader would have to walk directly towards the camera to gain access to the principal's office.
"I spent two hours watching minute by minute video today to see if their was an occasion that the student that's made the accusations against the school's principal was at or near the school office," Parker said. "In the time frame he said he was at the school office, there is no video evidence that he was at or near the school office at any time."
Parker also reviewed other surveillance video from inside the school and on the school bus the student rode home that day, and interviews were conducted with teachers, the counselor, other students and the school's principal.
"This story appears to be a total fabrication by this student," Parker said.
"If we were discovering this situation that we had employees violate any of the code of ethics for educators, then certainly we would have addressed that with very severe disciplinary action, but that doesn't appear to be the case in this situation," Parker added.
The story has been shared thousands of times and even reached other media platforms after the mother's decision to go public. Averette said she was so furious about what happened that she has now withdrawn her son from the school.
"I was highly upset," Averette said. "I needed something to be done, and I wanted some justice for my son. He is autistic, suffers from ADHD and post-traumatic stress because of this school. I needed some help. Since that time, I have been to the police department. I have pressed charges with the justice court against the school's principal as well as the school's counselor. I have been to the superintendent's office and I'm waiting for them to complete their investigation."