A high school teacher in Visalia was recorded during class while she allegedly sang the National Anthem and used a pair of scissors to cut a child’s hair without his permission.
52-year-old Margaret Gieszinger, an educator since 1987 as stated on her LinkedIn profile, has recently been instructing children in chemistry at the University Preparatory High School in Tulare County.
On Wednesday, someone posted a video online stating that it was recorded in Gieszinger’s first class of the day. The footage showed a male student sitting in a chair in the front of the classroom while the other students were at their desks, and a woman with the appearance of Gieszinger had a pair of scissors in her hand. She was heard yelling the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner while she is shown taking a portion of the teenage boy’s hair from his head and throwing it behind her.
The recording, which the College of the Sequoias Chief of Police believes is credible, then shows the woman making advances in the direction of the other children and trying to use the shears on a female student before the kids began to exit the room in what appeared to be a fearful response to the situation. Toward the end of the approximately 60-second piece of video, the suspect identified as Gieszinger is heard continuing to croon the patriotic tune.
Gieszinger was arrested on Wednesday, and she is facing charges of felony child endangerment. As of Friday, she was reported as being detained in the Tulare County Pre-Trial Facility in lieu of $100,000 bail.
When Gieszinger’s husband was interviewed by the media regarding his wife’s alleged behavior he said that he doesn’t understand what happened during the incident. He said that he is unfamiliar with her acting in that way and that “It’s not her. It’s not who she is.”
Earlier in the week, Gieszinger reportedly had a separate incident that showed behavior that was atypical. After misplacing an assignment, she allegedly blamed the students for swiping it from her, and one of the kids in her class said that her actions were not at all indicative of Gieszinger’s personality. The student said “She is usually all smiles and laughs,” and asked that people think about it before they automatically view her in a harsh manner.
When a psychologist in Fresno saw the video and offered her opinion on the incident, she said she believes that Gieszinger may have had a “psychotic episode or a manic episode where a person’s sense of reality is compromised.”
The county Office of Education stated that Gieszinger has been removed from the classroom and they have made counseling available for the children for as long as it is needed.
If you or someone you love is suspected of child endangerment, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.