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Texas Superintendent Responds To Darryl George Controversy By Saying "Being American Requires Conformity"

The Barbers Hill Independent School District in #Texas faces controversy and a federal civil rights lawsuit over its repeated suspension of Black student Darryl George due to his locs hairstyle. This suspension has been defended in a full-page newspaper ad, paid for by Barbers Hill Education Foundation. 

The family of Darryl George argues that punishment violates the CROWN Act, which aims to prevent race-based hair discrimination, and became law in Texas in September. Barbers Hill Independent School District claims that the law does not specifically address hair length, which is why George was suspended. However, photos of George show his hair styled in a way that does not violate the school's dress code.

The ad, authored by district superintendent Greg Poole and published in Houston Chronicle, argues for conformity in line with strict codes at military academies and expresses the district's unusual decision to seek a declaratory judgment in state district court to clarify the interpretation of the law.

"Being an American requires conformity with the positive benefit of unity," Poole stated, referencing strict codes at the military academies.

George's family filed a lawsuit against Texas Governor Greg Abbott and State Attorney General Ken Paxton, alleging that they failed to enforce law against hairstyle discrimination. School district's policy does not explicitly ban locs or braids but limits hairstyles for boys in ways that prevent hair from extending below the top of t-shirt collar, below eyebrows, or below ear lobes when let down.

The issue has sparked debate over local control and who should set school district policies and expectations. Barbers Hill Education Foundation, which funded the newspaper ad, has not commented on the advertisement.

A judge has scheduled a trial next month to decide whether George's can face continued punishment from his school district for refusing to alter his hairstyle, which he and his family argue is protected by a recently enacted state law.

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