Sometimes, when she sits in class, seven-year-old Lamya Cammon twirls the colorful beads that adorn her braids. Her mother, Helen Cunningham, says that she does it "maybe out of nervousness or distraction." On November 28th, the girl's first grade teacher at the Congress Elementary School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, became "frustrated" when Cammon kept playing with her hair and told the girl to walk to the front of class. The obedient child complied and, to her surprise, her teacher reached for a pair of scissors and cut one of Lamya's braids off. An outburst of laughter filled the room and little Cammon went back to her seat, put her head down on her desk, and cried. At the end of the day she went home and told her mother, who at first didn't believe her. "I couldn't see a teacher doing a thing like that," says Cunningham. ESSENCE.com talked exclusively with the working mother. She tells us what happened when she spoke with the teacher, what punishment she thinks the teacher should receive, and the reason the teacher gave for cutting her daughter's hair.