Texas Student Suspended for Loc Hairstyle Ignites CROWN Act Debate

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In Texas, a school district has put a student on a nearly two-week suspension for his loc hairstyle, prompting the district to request judicial clarification regarding potential violation of the CROWN Act. This state law strictly prohibits discrimination based on hair.

A student at Barbers Hill High School, Darryl George, was forced to endure more than two weeks of in-school suspension due to the breach of the district’s dress code by his locs. The dress code mandates that male students’ hair not extend below the eyebrows or earlobes at any given time.

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Legal representatives for the Barbers Hill Independent School District invited a court on Wednesday to elucidate “if the newly enacted CROWN Act proscribes grooming policies that govern the length of a male pupil’s hair,” a query posed by district spokesperson David Bloom.

Expressing their belief that the fresh legislation does not apply to hair length, the Barbers Hill Independent School District nonetheless appealed to the Texan judiciary for interpreting the scope of the law, as stated by Superintendent Greg Poole in a comment given to CNN.

In addition to this, the school district has affirmed that it will not intensify the disciplinary measures taken against the young Mr. George. Despite this, the 17-year-old suffered a subsequent suspension in the same week as his prior one.

Past warnings had alerted George to the risk of being transferred to a Disciplinary Alternative Education Program, an alternate school setting, if he continued violating the dress code.

George, a junior at Barbers Hill High School, has been handed numerous disciplinary notes disrespecting the school’s code by wearing his loc hairstyle in a ponytail, according to his mother, Darresha George.

She revealed that her son’s suspension occurred the very week that the state’s CROWN Act came into force. This law unequivocally forbids discriminatory practices against hair texture or protective styles such as locks and braids.

The school administration had informed George that his loc hairstyle contravened the district’s dress and grooming policies. To abide by these rules, a male student’s hair must not fall below the topmost edge of a t-shirt collar in any style that allows it to extend under the collar, below the eyebrows, or below the earlobes when let loose.

George’s hair has mostly been styled as braided locs in a ponytail. The teenager’s family asserts that his locs, incorporating strands from his grandfather and father, are a significant part of his heritage and he has no intention of cutting them.

The family is also said to be contemplating launching a legal dispute against the district for its actions.

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Melinda Cochrane is a poet, teacher and fiction author. She is also the editor and publisher of The Inspired Heart, a collection of international writers. Melinda also runs a publishing company, Melinda Cochrane International books for aspiring writers, based out Montreal, Quebec. Her publication credits include: The art of poetic inquiry, (Backalong Books), a novella, Desperate Freedom, (Brian Wrixon Books Canada), and 2 collections of poetry; The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat, (Backalong Books), and She’s an Island Poet, Desperate Freedom was on the bestseller's list for one week, and The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat is one of hope and encouragement for all those living in the social welfare system. She’s been published in online magazines such as, (regular writer for) ‘Life as a Human’, and Shannon Grissom’s magazine.