Texas Teen, Mom Sue Governor Over Hair Discrimination Law Non-compliance

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A high school senior and his mother from Texas have raised an action against Governor Greg Abbott and the Attorney General, accusing them of overlooking a state law designed to protect against hair discrimination. The dispute originated in the Barbers Hill High School when Darryl George, a 17-year-old Black student, was reportedly suspended for breaching school regulations regarding hair length, as he donned locs styled into braids or a ponytail.

Although the school rules don’t directly prohibit locs or braids, it sets a limit on the length of hair for male students. This sparked allegations of violation of the state’s CROWN Act, a database of legislation that defends against discrimination pertaining to hair texture and protective hairstyles like locs and braids, which bear racial significance.

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The lawsuit, filed in the Texas Southern District Court, seeks an order compelling both Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton to enforce the law, arguing that the duo has not adequately protected the rights of students under the enacted law since its implementation on the first of September.

The filing followed shortly after the school district sought clarification from a local court on whether their hair policy goes against the CROWN Act. The district maintains that the law does not pertain to hair length, and looks to the judiciary for interpretation. However, George’s family remains resolute, stating that the young man’s locs carry a family heritage and they will not succumb to a haircut.

An eerily similar lawsuit was filed against the same school district last year by parents of two other students with locs. The controversy sprung from the school’s insistence on complying with its hair length rule, thereby preventing one of the students from participating in his graduation ceremony.

In the face of such disputes, two dozen states across the United States have implemented variants of the CROWN Act to prevent similarly discriminatory instances. Though efforts to pass a national Act remain unsuccessful, individual states act in their capacity to safeguard the rights of their citizens.

Such tenacious individuals as Darryl George, transforming their everyday hassles into battles for social justice, serve as a reminder that even in moments of struggle, we can always create positive impacts in our society. However, it’s also essential to sit back and take a breather once in a while, maybe even indulge in something fun and exciting.

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