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Jan 26, 2012

Primary School student get unwanted haircut from his principal

Far west in the village of San Jose, Succotz, a mother is irate and looking for answers after a bizarre incident involving school officials. The parent, Maria Barrera, says that on Monday, her teenage son was restrained by school officials who shaved off part of his hair. The thirteen year old says that he was called to the principal’s office where the principal, aided by four teachers, cut his hair with a clipper. Barrera is looking for answers, but it has been days and their questions have been unanswered. News Five’s Andrea Polanco travelled west to talk with the family.

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Today, thirteen year old Nair Leal was at home instead of in his standard three class at Victorious Nazarene School in Succotz. But Nair isn’t a truant; he was at school on Monday. The minor had a near traumatic experience earlier this week; he claims four teachers and principal restrained him and cut out a patch of his hair. Nair recounts the incident:

Nair Leal

Nair Leal, Claims Hair was cut by teachers and principal

“When I came in the office, the principal said you can sit down. I sit down. Then I see another teacher came in with the cutter; with the machine. He connected it and then he told me if I am ready. And I said about what? To cut my hair and he said he will not cut my hair. And then the principal said if I will not cut my hair, she will call other teachers. And she called three other teachers and they grabbed me and they put my hand like this and my foot like this.”

Andrea Polanco

“How many teachers held you feet?”

Nair Leal


Andrea Polanco

“And two held your hands?”

Nair Leal

“Yap. And then a teacher come and pass me the machine here.”

Andrea Polanco

“So it was a teacher who cut the hair?”

Nair Leal


Three days have elapsed and Nair’s mother, Maria Barrera says she has been given no explanation.

Maria Barrera, Mother of Nair Leal

Maria Barrera

“She told my son that she called me and I give her permission to cut his hair. But I never received any call like that; nothing. Up to now I noh talk to she yet. I am just waiting to see what the police will do.”

Andrea Polanco

“Did she by chance maybe called another relative or another family member?”

Maria Barrera

“Nobody; she noh call nobody.”

Andrea Polanco

“What would you like to see be done with respect to the principal?”

Maria Barrera

“Well maybe change she from here because I know how chancy she is; yes that is what I want.”

And the incident has left its mark on this young student:

Nair Leal

“Sad; just sad.”

Andrea Polanco

“What did you say to them?”

Nair Leal

“When they cut my hair, I didn’t say anything. They said you can go home and I said okay and come out from the office.”

Andrea Polanco

“Did you ask them why?”

Nair Leal


Andrea Polanco

“Do you want to go back to school?”

Nair Leal


Andrea Polanco

“With the principal there?”

Nair Leal


These pictures taken on Monday evening clearly show where the patch of hair was freshly cut. Prompted by the unusual incident, Barrera says she wants answers:

Maria Barrera

“I gone the next day but they said that she is on some things she is doing for the school and can’t attend to me right now. So I gone to the Ministry of Education in Santa Elena. I talked to Miss Williams and she tell me that she can’t come; that if the principal noh call she, she can’t just come to investigate nothing.”

Andrea Polanco

“So you reported it to the police?”

Maria Barrera

“I report it to the police to the social and today we called all the way in Belmopan to the Ministry of Education.”

Andrea Polanco

“And what did they say to you?”

Maria Barrera

“They say they will investigate that. I can’t leave this right so. They chanced my son. The principal chanced my son.”

Barrera says her child isn’t a troublemaker and on her regular checks with his teacher, she hasn’t received any reports of bad behavior. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

News Five stopped in at the primary school to get a comment from the principal, but was informed that she will not be in until Friday. The teacher left in charge said she was unable to comment on the incident.

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39 Responses for “Primary School student get unwanted haircut from his principal”

  1. Rich Kid says:

    That is common assault the teachers along with the principal should be arrested and prosecuted to the highest extend of the law. And in your mind you ask if they should be fired do you really want me to answer that…well yes duh.

  2. Storm says:

    Doesn’t this act amount to the crime of “battery”? As I understand it, battery is a non-consensual touching.

    If I am right, these school employees should all be prosecuted. If there is a dress and grooming code, it can be enforced without criminal activity!

    People as stupid as that have no business trying to educate our children, anyway. They are terrible examples.

  3. belizeanlatino says:

    Lets get a hold of this woman and find out why do that to the child! NO matter what behaviour he has it gives her no right to do that, bloody hell what’s wrong with her!!

  4. Barack Obama says:

    I can remember one time in class, a prominent teacher cut the finger nails of a classmate with a scissors. I thought it was wrong back then and today, I still think it was wrong.

  5. Mosh says:

    Behaviour like this affects students emotionally and impact their lives for ever, if the incident its true, the teacher needs to be penalize for their actions. If it was my son, I would sue them for their improper action.

  6. belizeanpride says:

    typical abuse of authority beginning from gov. officials to even school officials!!! seems it’s getting like an epidemic thing all around. this should be dealt soon, no teacher has the right to do this to any kid with out the consent of the parents worst assisted by other school teachers. they should be charge for child abuse now this is the kind of stuff that human rights should get involve and not by stopping the death by hanging in our country riddled by criminals.

  7. zigizigi says:

    This is a puzzle! I can bet on my life that something serious had to happen for the principal and teachers to do something like this. we need to hear out the complete story. this will be the piece to the puzzle. will be posted.

  8. Jeeboo says:

    Sue them. And Ministry of education should be on this in a snap. How degrading to the boy. Where’s Arthur Saldivar? He can sue for 250,000 and go half half on this one.


    CALLING ON HUMAN RIGHTS????????????????????

  10. What The says:

    What in the Name of the Most High is happening to these damn teachers? This is outright abuse. This is a little kid and this is the way they treat children? No wonder our precious Belize is going to the dogs since it all begins with the educators of our system. Remove these teachers immediately and get trained ones. The children grow up to be parents and they have learnt a way from the present adults. When things go wrong we blame the person but the root cause is never identified and addresse. Damn to Hell.

  11. Gaan off says:

    Run the clip through the principal head and all the teachers that hold him down. Its possible the lee bwai do something wrong but if somebody do that to my pickny the outcome will be different..guaranteed. I nuh play that.

  12. Sensible says:

    I wish you all would be teachers for 1 day and experience the behaviours of these primary school students.Now we can’t lash and punish thanks to the Minister of Education! To hell with human rights. Parents have a right to raise their kids the right way and teach them respect so if they don’t get it at home then the Principal and teachers have all right to teach them. After all we are the ones who are with them for 8 hours a day or more!

  13. Tanya says:

    She should take herself and her son back to Melchor or Guatemala to school. There no one will shave her son’s head. They might use a machete! lol

  14. Eda says:

    I agree that there are both sides to the story however the teachers had no right to cut the child’s hair.
    They should be penalized as a lesson to the other teachers. Minister of Education needs to get on top of this ASAP for these are the things that make people take matters into their own hands,
    I know that I can endure a lot and have high tolerance but when it comes to my children it is a different matter.

  15. Katrina says:

    how bizarre!

  16. bzn2dbone says:

    I concur that we need to hear the two sides of the story. From what I am seeing, the patches were not done deliberately by the teachers, but were caused because the kid was not keeping still. Nonetheless, we have to look at the fact that allowing our children to do whatever they want, say whatever they want, go wherever they want or dress anyway they want are the first steps in the direction of criminality. We as parents need to have our children under strict manner if we want to see them grow old.
    And yes, thanks to children’s “rights” they are getting to be untouchable even when they behave and act rudely.

  17. carlos says:

    I know this child good and I a sure he is not a trouble maker. I am a teacher too , but I condemn what this principal and other teachers did to him. If he did something bad or against the school rules, then find other ways to discipline him. I ask the ministry of education to look into this, even my teachers union should but some light to this incident and condemn the action of these teacher at this school.

  18. pissed at the things happening in our society says:

    I wish a !@#$% would lose her place and do something of the sort to my child. I’m sick and tired of hearing about these injustices against our children, but what is worst is that nothing is being done about it. I want the government and the police to know, that I don’t need them to seek any justice for me, I will do it on my own. Nobody gives a !@#$! We’re living in a real dog eat dog society and it irritates me so much.

  19. Earl Grey says:

    Thank God … HE DID NOT NEED A BATH!!! ;-)

  20. x says:

    Hey, free hair cut. I’ve gotten worse haircuts and was charged for them.

  21. L.C. says:

    What the article fails to mention (or maybe I just missed it…) is if the student had an unacceptable haircut. Back in my day, If you came to school with too many lines and curves in your head, they would send you home to ‘get it fixed.’

    But I think we are missing a key point here: The child is THIRTEEN and is in STANDARD THREE. I hope that the child has a learning disability that is keeping him back. If not, then there is a SERIOUS issue here. This means that this child will not get out of primary school until he is 16. Graduating high school at 20/21.

    Someone dropped the ball here. I hope this is not the start of a trend in Belize.

  22. belizeanpride says:

    @ sensible

    even if the kid is a trouble maker and you being a teacher doesn’t give you the right to do that to a kid. if the kids is a trouble maker give the kid and parents a three notice before expulsion. taught teachers had more sense how to deal with kids but looks reversed.

  23. CEO says:

    There is more to this story because if the mother’s account is really all that happened then that theacher has mental issues.

    What about the Ministry cannot investigate until the principal calls them? Is this a pot of crock or what? They need to investigate every complaint!

  24. Al says:

    There is no two sides to this story. When four adults restrain a child and forcibly cut his hair, they are totally and absolutely wrong. If the child was a problem call the parent and fix the problem. All the adults should be fired and the Education Official should also be fired. If that was my child there would be hell to pay, trust me.

  25. BMW says:

    What gives the Principal and/or teachers the right to do this to a child? If the child had a haircut not appropriate to school rules- use the system, send them back home with a note that he is unable to return to school till he confirms to school regulations- period. What gives you the right just because you are Principal to do such thing?

    However, this is typical of village schools- where Principals/teachers feel they reign supreme and can do whatever and villagers will have to take it. Min of Education in their response to this mother just condones this type of behavior. Again, we do not know the full story, however, that is their duty to investigate and find a sensible solution.

    Send the Principal and teacher to Anger Management class, cuz no matter how many workshops they attend it is not enough.

  26. FED UP says:

    Patrick Faber openly boasts that the Ministry of Education gets the biggest budjet, the most money spent, and this is what you get for all that money spent, child abuse within the institution and no plan to address it. shame on the Ministry of Education. If it were a black child that they cut of his locks then all hell would break loose. where is commitee for families and children, and social services, and human development. all in a workshop i imagine. hopeless UDP crowd.

  27. Mel says:

    Crime that is Crime committed by Principal n all those teacher what a shame for Ministry of Education have these type of employees. Something has to be done about this. Police do your investigation this child is innocent and this act will affect his life for ever.

    Mis Sensible commenting about having to be with the kids for 8 hrs what are you doing teaching if you dont like it doesnt seem to me that you are sensible enough nothing justifies doing that a student. that little boy is a good kid he has no behaviour issues…

    Tanya dont be such an IDIOT you dont own Belize,,,to make such a stupid comment says a lot about you…the child is not from melchor…

  28. SLP says:

    this principal has a reputation investigate her she has done bad things and she was taken out from benque school by the parents, taking advantage of her power. now she is in succotz so this is not the first time she do things to students. even his brotther wanted to beat the kid after the mom went for an explanation . those teachers who are real teachers know best that it was wrong what she did to those teachers who say we have them all day and some of them are trouble makers and we have to punish them you are not a teacher and you are just in for a salary . she should be taken out of teaching and his brother being a teacher too from the same school threatening the kid this was after the news was gone . people that protect the childs right do something !!!!!!!!

  29. Eye In The Sky says:

    Dem teacher better no cut my dreadlocks.

  30. heart broken says:

    As I may say, these incidents happen when you leave a principal too long in power of a school.They get in their minds that they can get away with not only this incident but also with mistreating the under privilege children . Principals especially should be changed after certain years!!!!

  31. Elgin Martinez says:

    There is no justification for such behavior from someone who should be educating this kid.This lady should be sued then fired,stop the abuse of our kids.

  32. jackson says:

    This will not be done nothing because succotz Nazarene School is a family thing and you know how family goes nothing will be done since pastor Eric is the director and the principal is his niece so they will not do anything to she. but the ministery of education could do something this is the time we want to see of the minister is really capable of doing what he says in public that he want the better of education but with thos type of teacher we are not going forward instead backward. do something minister make she get fired don’t wait till election to react?????????

  33. cuns family says:

    even if the child has a behavior problem as was mention we as teachers should be able to handle it professional. i am a teacher under the same management knows exactly whats going on. the teachers from that school are suffering embarrasing comments because they are intimidated by her and her uncle PASTOR eric reyes(local manager). the teachers are afraid to lose their jobs and as a result have to keep quiet.that is NOT FAIR. if Ingrid the (barber) cant handle the post as principal she should step down NOW and allow a HUMAN BEING to do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Blame all to her ex boyfriend he left her because she wanted to cut his hair and he refused. she has an attitude problem and every one knows of it here in the west. such a shame what you think NAZARENE TEACHERS?

  34. GOLDEN BOY says:

    Bun Dem Haters! Blasted LIAADS.,.

  35. just another spectator says:

    people why uno mention name pan this yah things. uno find out what dah the other side of the story bt hey. we are ina wah free country uno voice out yor opinion.

  36. Just sayin says:

    sounds like Belize gone tribal!!!!!!! sounds like they are from the amazon area. Just sayin

  37. Roxie says:

    Earl Grey, if you had read this article properly, it’s not like he’s dirty; it is really unknown why they decided to force an unwanted haircut on him and, in my mind, it is wrong.

  38. Ale says:

    This is happening now with my son i do all school payment everything they ask to cooperating in everytging always pn school my son got very good grades i can proove then here in CAYE CAULKER THE PRINCIPAL miss..BEATRIZ CHAN said to me that if i no cut my sons hair he cannot go anymore to her shool she’s being very abusive to many kids that realy do not deserves it those who no even want to pay school fees yes those ones she have as best students somebody have to do something we need help here is going on lots of bulling and she. just don’t care every saturday we see her drinking and party i mean come on she’s d principal should nott be doing those things infront of everybody every time asking for money and never know what. it .MISS BEATRIZ CHAN IS A VERY BAD PRINCIPAL SHOULD BE OUT FOR GOOD BEFORE SHE HURTS MORE KIDS.

  39. Student says:

    This news is old but still, I’m a ex student from the schools in Belize, I’m now living in the USA and graduated high school recently and one thing for sure is that it is so so so stupid that kids are not allowed to go school because of physical appearance, like hairstyle. What is most important? the education or the looks of a student going into school? Its a darn shame that looks is the first thing school administrators looks into when accepting a student into their school like the Sacred Heart Junior college in the Cayo District, I was constantly being verbally abused about my hair even tho i had excellent grades, until the point that the school staff told me to just stay at home till i got a hair cut. so i stayed at home for a month, my parents were already working on a transfer from the high school into a new school in the USA… when i got to my new school. i was very pleased with everything the school provided.. the teachers , the principals , everything. In that school every student dressed how ever they pleases, and be who they wanted to be, of course some dress code applied but still every student looked the way that they wanted to look and thus being successful in their education and thats what matters. School administrators are a joke compared to the administrators in the USA.

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