The same week that Texas banned racial discrimination based on hairstyle, a black high school student was suspended after school officials said his dreadlocks violated the district’s dress code.
“All I’m saying is that I want my son to get the education he needs and not be discriminated against because of his hair,” Darisha George said. FOX 26 Houston.
Her son, Darryl George, is a 17-year-old senior at Barbers Hill High School in the Houston suburb of Mont Belvieu. He was suspended from school after it was noted that his hair was below his eyebrows and earlobes, according to the Associated Press.
George is in his first year of high school, and his mother says he had a rocky start from day one.
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“They know his hair is long, so when he comes to school every day, he’ll be at ISS. Because they know that when he lets his hair down, it’s under his eyelids and under his earlobes. George said.
The case is reminiscent of the debate over hair discrimination in schools and workplaces, and is already testing the state’s new Crown Act, which went into effect Sept. 1.
The law, an acronym for “Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair,” prohibits hair discrimination based on race and protects hair textures such as afros, braids, dreadlocks, and twists. It aims to prohibit employers and schools from punishing people because of their hairstyle. Or Bantu knots. Texas is one of her 24 states to have enacted the Crown Act.
The federal version of the CROWN Act passed the House last year, but not the Senate.
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“Barbers Hill ISD’s dress code does not violate the CROWN Act,” a district statement to FOX 26 said.
George was suspended last week. His mother plans to return to school in the Houston area starting Monday with his dreadlocks in a ponytail, she said, even if he ends up attending an alternative school.
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In George’s family, all the men have had dreadlocks for generations. For them, hairstyles have cultural and religious significance, his mother said.
“Our hair is the source of our strength, it’s our roots,” Daresha George told The Associated Press. “He has his ancestors trapped in his hair and he knows it.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.