Teacher Fired After Filming His Young Female Students Unbraiding His Hair & Painting His Nails During Class

He was accused of blurring the line between teacher and friend with his students.

teacher sitting and facing students in classroom Yan Krukau | Pexels

I'm sure some of us can remember being in school and having a close and amicable relationship with some of our teachers, whether hanging out in their classrooms during a break or feeling supported by them during hard times. 

However, a teacher named Marquise White has stirred up quite a conversation online about what it means to have too close of a relationship with students. 

White was criticized for filming his young female students unbraiding his hair and painting his nails during class.

In a TikTok video, White, a middle school teacher, explained that he'd done a livestream with some of his students earlier in the month that evoked backlash. In the livestream, he showed four of his young female students unbraiding his hair during their last few minutes in class, and many people accused him of acting "inappropriately" toward them.


"For a little context, I had a hair appointment immediately after school, and I needed my hair taken out beforehand," White defended. He didn't have the time to take out his braids on his own, so he asked "four or five of my over 100 best friends" to help, and they all agreed. 

@thilluminatin1 Students don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. Teaching is a work of heart.Comment your thoughts #teacher #teachersoftiktok #teacherproblems #millenialsoftiktok #middleschool ♬ Chopin Nocturne No.2 Op.9-2(1391533) - 314P

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White insisted that he didn't find anything weird about young girls taking out his braids and argued that if he'd been a woman, none of the criticism would've been directed at him in the first place. "Some people have never had cool teachers, and it shows," he continued. "I personally believe that building authentic relationships with students is paramount in being an effective teacher."

He admitted that many of his students see him as an "older brother" and "father figure" who allows them to be their authentic selves and never feel judged or dismissed in his presence. It's clear from White's videos and social media presence that he deeply cares about his students and his role as an educator. He wants the best for all the kids that come through his classroom doors. However, there's a thin line between being that "cool teacher" and overstepping personal boundaries.

In another of White's videos, he showed a young girl painting his nails during class and responded to critics, accusing him of blurring the lines between teacher and students. 

He pointed out that most of his student's parents are aware of his social media account and have signed release forms so their children can be filmed.


"If you know middle school girls, you know that they're all hair stylists and makeup artists, so if I need my hair taken out, my school hair stylists are willing to do it," he said. It's not like we were alone in the classroom."

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In response to White's video, other content creators chimed in with their opinions and explained why his relationship with his students is problematic.

In a video, a woman named Anastasia Gracia reacted to White's video of his students unbraiding his hair and insisted that while the act of taking out someone's hair isn't inappropriate, White recording his students and posting the video online is. 

"You should not be using your students in any way as part of your content like this," Gracia pointed out. "Especially considering the fact that he took no effort to conceal their faces."


Gracia argued that she's aware that there are teachers out there, including White, who want to create trust with their students and have good relationships with them. While this isn't wrong, this type of behavior can often blur the line between friend and teacher. The teacher may not think he is friends with his students, but it might be confusing for the kids.

"I'm not saying that he's going to do something from that, but if you've already made an inappropriate relationship normalized for a child or the boundaries have been blurred for a child, someone else can take advantage of that because they've already been primed to think things that are too close are okay."

A teacher named Dariyana Ashè offered her perspective as a young educator, saying that White was wrong to allow his young female students to unbraid his hair and post the videos on TikTok and a live stream. She pointed out that even though his intentions were pure, his actions could still be seen as inappropriate.

@6ixpigs people forget that what you put on the internet is forever! do you think that he should have been fired ? #6ixpigs #foryou #xybca #fypツ #teachersoftiktok #teacherbraids #braids ♬ original sound - Dari Ashè💗

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Echoing Gracia's point, Ashè explained that White was blurring the line between professionalism and familiarity. She explained that as a young teacher, she doesn't allow her students to touch her or her hair. 

"I understand that your kids love you, but you have to have very clear-cut boundaries," Ashè insisted. "It's certain things that you cannot do with your students." 


White was fired from his job after videos of him and his students created even more uproar.

Following his initial video of his students braiding his hair, White ended up getting fired from his middle school teaching job. In response, he made another video. This time, an emotional White read out some of the text messages that he received from his former students following his termination, with many of them expressing sadness that he'd been disciplined for something they viewed as "innocent."

White cried as he shared that many of them supported him and that they "know that there has never been anything weird going on." Some students even referred to White as their “bestie” and said he helped them through dark times during his time at the middle school. 

Again, Anastasia Garcia chimed in with her thoughts about his second video, admitting that she never wanted him to get fired. She remarked that at the end of the day, White was the one who decided to post that video, and clearly wanted attention from the relationship he had with his students.

@_anastasiagracia_ Update on teacher having students unbraid his hair #greenscreenvideo #fypシ #blackteachersoftiktok #braiding #boundarysetting #teachersoftiktokMy previous video@_anastasiagracia_ ♬ original sound

"He has to take accountability for that, and what happened to him was because he posted that. If he never posted that, he wouldn't have lost his job," she said. "You can be friendly and not be your student's friend. You just have to have stricter boundaries."

Ultimately, it's clear from White's videos and attitude that he never had anything but good intentions for his students. Still, there's a time and place for everything, and school is never the place to have your students painting your nails or unbraiding your hair. 

They are your students, not your peers or friends. They should be able to trust you but never think they are your equals or your friends.


Professional boundaries should always exist in the classroom, and teacher-student relationships should be respected and adhered to. 

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.