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Barbers Hill Hearing

Source: Houston Chronicle/Hearst Newspapers via Getty Images / Getty

Darryl George, the 18-year-old Mont Belvieu, Texas student who was suspended from Barbers Hill High School in 2023 for wearing his locs in class, was delivered a significant setback in the fight to end his months-long suspension.

Darryl George will remain suspended

This week, Texas District Judge Chap Cain III ruled in favor of Barbers Hill High School, arguing that the institution did not violate the CROWN Act, a state law that was enacted in 2023 that prohibits race-based hair discrimination, the Associated Press reported. In August, the school suspended George for violating their hair length policy for boys after he refused to change his locs. According to the student handbook, male students’ hair cannot extend past the eyebrows or earlobes.

The school district initiated legal action, alleging that George’s extended locs, fashioned in a top-knot style, breached its dress code regulations. They argued that when George releases his hair, it will extend beyond the prescribed limits, dipping below his shirt collar, eyebrows, or earlobes. The district maintained that other students sporting locs adhere to the specified length requirements.

What was the verdict?

Ultimately, officials claimed that Barbers Hill High School did not violate the CROWN Act because the law does not cover or mention hair length.

Candice Matthews, a spokesperson for George, revealed that the teen was in tears after the judge announced the difficult verdict. His family is also frustrated.

“Darryl made this statement, and told me this straight up with tears in his eyes, ‘All because of my hair? I can’t get my education because of hair? I cannot be around other peers and enjoy my junior year, because of my hair?’” Matthews told reporters outside of the courtroom, CNN noted. 

Since his suspension, George has been attending an off-site disciplinary program to complete his studies. Matthews said that the 18-year-old will continue to serve in-school suspension while his law team files an injunction for an upcoming federal civil rights lawsuit.

What is the CROWN Act?

George’s family is suing Texas. Gov. Gregg Abbott and the state’s Attorney General Ken Paxton for failing to enforce the CROWN Act.

In the U.S., over 20 states have enacted the CROWN Act, which stands for “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair.” The critical bill protects individuals from race-based hair discrimination connected to natural or protective hairstyles in the workplace, schools, and other institutions.

In March, Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs joined the fight to protect Black Arizonians against hair discrimination after she signed an executive order banning discrimination in the workplace, NewsOne reported. However, private employers and schools across the state were not required to implement the order, leaving some Black residents at risk of facing hair discrimination.

 

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Darryl George To Remain On In-School Suspension For Refusing To Cut His Locs, Texas Judge Rules  was originally published on hellobeautiful.com