Chicago — A Black high school student and his family are now taking legal action against his Texas school district, which put him on an in-school suspension for wearing twisted dreadlocks and his family are now taking legal action against his school district.
Darryl George and his family filed a formal complaint with the Texas Education Agency against the Barbers Hill Independent School District, alleging that he was being harassed and mistreated by school district officials who say his dreadlocks violate the district’s dress code. The family says the district’s policy violates the CROWN Act, which outlaws racial discrimination based on hairstyles.
Darresha George, Darryl’s mom, said the fight for her son’s return to the classroom is taking a toll.
“I try not to show everything because I have to stay strong for my son. I have to stay strong and stay in the fight,” said Darresha George. “But it is draining."
As the Texas Education Agency investigates the family’s allegations, Barbers Hill officials are taking legal actions of their own. The district announced it filed a lawsuit in state district court asking a judge to clarify whether its dress code restrictions limiting student hair length violates the CROWN Act.
“Although we believe the new law does not govern hair length, we are asking the judicial system of Texas to interpret,” Barbers Hill Superintendent Greg Poole is quoted as saying.
Barbers Hill has clashed with another Black male student over dress code in the past. The student was told to cut his dreadlocks to return to school or participate in graduation. His mother withdrew him from the school and a federal judge later ruled the school district’s hair policy was discriminatory, according to Yahoo News.
Noah Johnson (he/him/his) is a Chicago-based journalist. Follow him on Twitter: @noahwritestoo.
Edited by NaTyshca Pickett