Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu junior Darryl George made news headlines months ago when he faced in-school suspension due to his dreadlocks in Texas. Now, he is being removed from the high school and placed in a disciplinary alternative education program. Principal Lance Murphy cited George's "failure to comply" with multiple campus and classroom regulations as the reason for this action.
The school district's guidelines prohibit male students from having hair extending below the eyebrows, ear lobes, or the top of a T-shirt collar, though it does not require uniforms. George's family and their attorney dispute that his hairstyle violates the dress code and have filed a formal complaint with the Texas Education Agency and a federal civil rights lawsuit against the state's governor and attorney general. They claim these officials failed to enforce a new law that outlaws hairstyle discrimination.
George's family asserts that George's suspension and subsequent disciplinary actions violate the state's CROWN Act, which came into effect on September 1. The CROWN Act, an acronym for "Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair," is designed to prohibit race-based hair discrimination, preventing employers and schools from penalizing individuals based on hair texture or protective hairstyles such as Afros, braids, dreadlocks, twists, or Bantu knots. While a federal version of the CROWN Act passed in the U.S. House, it faced challenges in the Senate.
The school district has also filed a lawsuit in state district court, seeking clarity on whether its dress code restrictions, which limit student hair length for boys, violate the CROWN Act. Barbers Hill High School had previously encountered controversy over its dress code when two other Black male students, De'Andre Arnold and Kaden Bradford, were told to cut their dreadlocks in 2020.
Give us your thoughts in the comments.