A school in Texas has suspended a Black student over his dreadlocks, and now his family has filed a lawsuit saying the CROWN Act protects the hairstyle. Here’s the whole story.
Suspended Over Hairstyle
Darryl George is a junior at Barbers Hill High School in Texas.
He was suspended from school over his dreadlock hairstyle, but his family says he is protected by the state’s CROWN Act that was recently passed.
CROWN is an acronym for Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair.
It was passed to protect people of color from “race-based hair discrimination” in Texas schools, meaning George’s deadlocks should be protected, according to his mother.
Against His Rights
George’s family filed a lawsuit against Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton for “not enforcing the CROWN Act.”
The lawsuit alleges they have failed to protect the Black student’s rights.
The family and their attorney hope to get a restraining order to stop Darryl’s in-school suspension while they fight the case in court.
The teen’s mother, Darresha George, said her son had been subjected to “improper discipline and abrogation of both his Constitutional and state rights” over his hairstyle.
Put “In Lock-Up”
She claimed he sits on a “small stool for eight hours in a cubicle” during the in-school suspension, and when he comes home, he complains of a backache from how he sits all day.
One person on X said the student’s in-school suspension punishment sounded like he was “in lock-up” at a public school, and another person called it “abuse.”
Darresha said her son comes home from school “frustrated, outraged, and aggravated.”
She feels the punishment is affecting her son’s mental and physical health.
Violating the Dress Code
It is Darryl’s first year at the high school.
His mother claims they never received pushback over her son’s hairstyle at the school he previously attended.
Officials from the school district said Darryl’s dreadlocks “violate the district’s dress code” because they fall below his eyebrows and ear lobes, but his mother said he keeps his hair “neatly tied in twisted dreadlocks on top of his head.”
“His Culture and Spirituality”
The school district’s superintendent said the school’s dress code is legal, but they filed their own lawsuit asking a judge to confirm whether their dress code violates the CROWN Act.
Darresha George said her son has “his dad’s hair, his stepdad’s hair, and his brother’s hair actually sewn into his locks.”
She claims the hairstyle represents “his culture and spirituality” and doesn’t want her son to be punished.
One of the authors of the CROWN Act, State Representative Ron Reynolds, stepped up and offered his support to the family.
“We’re Going to Protect Him”
Reynolds said the Texas Legislative Black Caucus would stand behind the George family. He said, “We’re going to protect him. They’re not in it alone.”
Some people on social media claimed the lawsuit was “just about wanting money,” but others supported Darryl George’s dreadlocks.
One person claimed the school was “taking away a child’s right to learn like everyone else.”
Another person said the school’s actions were “definitely racially motivated,” and they were “clearly trying to flex their control over Black students.”
“Hair Shouldn’t Define a Student’s Education”
This person called the school’s behavior “disgusting.”
One commenter said, “Hair shouldn’t define a student’s education” and that it was time for schools to focus on things that matter, such as “quality education.”
Darryl George isn’t the first student to be told to cut his dreadlocks by Barbers Hill High School.
In 2020, the school told two cousins they had to cut their dreadlocks, and their families sued the school district.
In that court case, a federal judge ruled that the school’s policy was “discriminatory.”
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / ViDI Studio
Source: ABC News