MELROSE, MASS. (WHDH) - An 11-year-old girl said her braid was cut while she was in class at her Melrose school on Tuesday.

The mother of this fifth grader — who, for privacy, has asked not to be identified — said her daughter came home from Winthrop Elementary with one of her braids cut in half. She said it’s a matter of cultural sensitivity.

The confidence that comes with a brand new hairdo was cut short for the child.

“I felt good because I thought my friends are going to like it and I was going to get compliments about it,” the 11-year-old said.

She just had the braids done days before as a reward at the end of the school year.

“It’s just embarrassing for somebody to just come behind me and I get up and see a piece of my hair on the floor,” she said.

The girl said that when she turned around to ask who did it, none of her classmates would say.

“She was mortified,” her mother said.

The girl’s mom said neither her daughter’s teacher nor the principal appeared to take it seriously. She claimed the teacher even implied the braid fell out on its own.

“I feel hurt and it’s not okay that my teacher and my principal disregarded my feelings,” the 11-year-old said.

“And the root of it is there is a lack of understanding, lack of understanding the cultural importance of a black girl’s hair,” her mother said.

The 11-year-old Boston girl goes to school in Melrose as part of the METCO voluntary school integration program. This is her first year there, and her mom says she’s one of two Black girls in her class.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that my daughter was racially targeted,” her mother said.

The girl’s mother also told 7NEWS her daughter has been called names and been bullied because of the color of her skin. She claims it started in September.

She asked the city to conduct a civil rights investigation back in February and said nothing has been done.

John Macero, the superintendent of Melrose Public Schools, said he is taking these allegations seriously, telling 7News in a statement: “We plan to hire a third-party firm to investigate the details of this incident and we are reporting the incident to the relevant state agencies.”

The girl’s mother filed a police report and Melrose police tell 7News they are investigating. Her mother said she is also reaching out to civil rights attorneys and considering a school transfer.

“I think it’s important that Melrose, as a district, trains their faculty, their administration, on cultural competency,” her mother said.

The Melrose METCO director has not returned a request for comment.

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