Texas School District Seeks Court Clarification on Hair Discrimination Laws Amid Student Suspension Over Locs

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In the state of Texas, an ongoing dispute involving a student’s loc hairstyle at Barbers Hill High School has led the local school district to seek court intervention. The student, Darryl George, was suspended for two weeks due to his locs violating the school’s dress code. As per the code, while at school, male students’ hair length must not extend below the eyebrows or ear lobes at any given time.

Barbers Hill Independent School District’s lawyers have now approached the court requesting further clarification. The specific question they seek answer to is whether the CROWN Act, a recently passed state law that prohibits discrimination based on hair, has any implications on grooming policies related to the length of a male student’s hair.

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Barbers Hill superintendent, Greg Poole, expressed his opinion stating that although they believe the new law does not cover hair length, they think it’s best for the judicial system of Texas to provide a verdict on this grey area in order to avoid any misinterpretation.

While suspended, George was warned that continued violations of the dress code would potentially lead to him being transferred to a Disciplinary Alternative Education Program, often referred to as alternative school. Despite his previous suspension, George, now facing another suspension this week, has had to deal with disciplinary actions multiple times for wearing his locs in a ponytail, according to his mother, Darresha George.

The timing of the suspension is also of note, as it came in the same week the CROWN Act became active in the state. This law prohibits discrimination on the basis of one’s hair texture or protective hairstyles such as locs and braids.

Darresha also informed that George’s dress code violation was articulated to them within the context of the Barbers Hill Independent School District’s dress and grooming regulations. It specifically states that a male student’s hair must not extend below the top of a t-shirt collar or be gathered or worn in a style that would allow it to extend below the top of a t-shirt collar, below the eyebrows, or below the ear lobes when let down.

Adding a personal and emotional touch to the issue, George’s family has said that his locs include strands from his grandfather and father, a sentiment that affirms their decision against cutting them. Given the significance of the situation, the family is also considering legal action against the school district.