Teacher who cut student's hair may have had a psychotic episode: Psychologist

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Fresno psychologist is weighing in on what may have caused 52-year-old Margaret Gieszinger to cut her student's hair and chase them with scissors.

RELATED: VIDEO: Visalia teacher arrested for forcibly cutting kid's hair in class while singing 'Star Spangled Banner'

Geiszinger is being held at the Tulare County Pre-Trial Facility on $100,000 bail after she forcibly cut a student's hair in class.

Video surfaced Wednesday showing the 52-year-old science teacher chasing students with scissors between desks while belting out the "Star Spangled Banner" at University Preparatory High School.

RELATED: Teacher had meltdown in class days before scissors incident, say students

The whole thing happened within minutes, but a Fresno psychologist says it's enough to impact one of those students for the rest of their lives.

"These children had a bizarre experience where some of them were actually victims of what I would call a violent crime in that last place they would expect it," said pschologist Dr. Susan Napolitano.

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Napolitano says based solely on the video, the situation was both bizarre and threatening.
"It looked like someone suffering a psychotic episode or a manic episode where a person's sense of reality is compromised," she said.

She says it's the student who sat in the chair and had his hair cut who could be most affected in the long run.

As for the rest of the students, Napolitano says its unlikely they'll suffer any psychological disorder, and will most likely just remember the event as a strange incident.

Napolitano does say it's crucial the school step up.

"I think the students need to be reassured that the school recognizes this was really scary and they experienced an injustice, and the school makes sure that nothing like this happens again," she said.

University Prep High school did release a statement saying there are counselors available, and that the teacher will not be returning to the classroom.
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