Chicago — A Black high school student in Texas has been suspended because his loc hairstyle violated a school district’s dress code even after the CROWN Act took effect in the state at the beginning of the month.
Darryl George, a junior at Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, was placed on in-school suspension for wearing his locs in a ponytail after receiving multiple disciplinary action notes, according to Yahoo News. George’s mother told CNN that he faced being placed in an alternative school if he didn’t cut his hair.
“He’s very anxious, very aggravated right now because he keeps getting punished for something that’s irrelevant to his education,” she said.
When she told school officials that their policies were in violation of the CROWN Act, a law prohibiting discrimination based on one’s hair texture or protective hairstyle which went into effect Sept. 1, the parent was told the law didn’t apply to limitations on hair length, she said.
“I want to see their policy change and stop being discriminatory against Black kids. I want to see my son out of ISS (in-school suspension). I don’t want any other child that’s coming behind my son to go through this again,” she said, noting that her family plans to pursue legal action against the district.
The Texas Legislative Black Caucus has also railed against the suspension, calling on the district to remove the violations from George’s record and to update its code to comply with the new state law.
“Without remedial action from you, this unacceptable situation will continue a dangerous precedent against students who may face undue disciplinary actions despite codified protections passed by state lawmakers,” said Texas state Rep. Ron Reynolds, the caucus chairman and an author of the state’s CROWN Act.
Noah Johnson (he/him/his) is a Chicago-based journalist. Follow him on Twitter: @noahwritestoo.
Edited by NaTyshca Pickett