A Visalia teacher arrested after she allegedly forcibly cut her students’ hair while singing the national anthem was charged Friday with two counts of cruelty to a child, two counts of battery and one count of assault by the Tulare County District Attorney.
Margaret Gieszinger, 52 – accused of committing the misdemeanors on Wednesday at University Preparatory High School – was also charged with false imprisonment.
According to the office of DA Tim Ward, Gieszinger could be sentenced to 3 years and 6 months in jail if convicted of all charges.
Gieszinger was arraigned on the charges and was released on her own recognizance. She is scheduled to appear in court again Dec. 17.
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The child cruelty charges say her actions “unlawfully inflicted unjustifiable mental suffering” on a child.
She had been in custody since her arrest on $100,000 bail..
A cell phone video apparently taken by a student and posted on Instagram show students fleeing the classroom as the teacher wields the scissors.
University Prep High is a charter high school in Visalia that operates on the campus of College of the Sequoias. The charter was granted by the Tulare County Office of Education, which issued a statement this week that Gieszinger “will not return to the classroom.”