Haskins, OH – Two married firefighters are under investigation for child abuse, after they punished their teenage daughter by forcing her to cut her hair.
The unnamed firefighters are the girl’s father and stepmother, WITI reported.
In a now-viral Jan. 31 Facebook post, the teen’s mother, Christin Johnson, said that her daughter Kelsey’s long hair was chopped off as punishment for getting highlights as a birthday gift.
“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!” the teen’s mother wrote in the post.
The post, which had been shared over 24,000 times as of Tuesday morning, implied that the haircut was done against Kelsey’s wishes.
The Haskins Police Department (HPD) and Wood County Children’s Services were notified of the situation, and both departments have opened investigations, WITI reported.
“I’ve been doing this since ’92, and I’ve never had a case I would say that’s like this,” HPD Chief Colby Carroll said.
Jennifer McVeigh, owner of The Pear Tree Salon, said that in her opinion, the person who cut Kelsey’s hair psychologically abused her.
“Your hair is what really makes you feel good,” McVeigh told WITI. “What they did to that poor child … it’s a chopped-off, boyish hairstyle on her. So I don’t understand why they would want to humiliate their daughter that way.”
“This beautiful little girl is now walking through the halls at school, completely embarrassed, feeling like a little boy,” she said.
A “Team Kelsey” Facebook page was created on Sunday, and included a link to a crowdfunding site in the girl’s name. The fundraising account was deactivated as of Tuesday morning, however.
The firefighters, both of whom have been with their department for approximately two years, were placed on leave pending investigation of the allegations, Middleton Township Fire Chief Steve Asmus said.