Texas student sues over suspension for natural hairstyle

A student is taking legal action following a suspension over his hairstyle.

A Black high school student in Texas, Darryl George, was suspended for over two weeks for wearing a natural hairstyle that allegedly violated the school district’s dress code. School officials claimed that George’s locs exceeded the prescribed length for male students, resulting in repeated in-school suspensions since August 31.

George and his mother have filed a lawsuit against Texas Governor Greg Abbott and the state’s attorney general, alleging their failure to enforce the state’s CROWN Act (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair), which bans race-based hair discrimination. The lawsuit contends that George’s suspension violated the CROWN Act, which went into effect statewide in Texas on September 1. The legal action seeks an injunction and a temporary restraining order against Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton to prevent the district from penalizing students for hairstyles such as locs, braids, twists, and other protective styles that exceed the district’s length requirements.

The CROWN Act, now implemented in 24 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands, aims to combat discrimination based on hair texture or protective hairstyles associated with race. While the federal CROWN Act passed the House in March 2022, Senate Republicans blocked it later that year. However, efforts to pass the legislation continue at both the state and federal levels.

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