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Black student suspended over hairstyle days after Texas ‘banned’ hair discrimination

A 17-year-old Texas high school student has been suspended due to his loc hairstyle, in the same week the state passed a law banning discrimination based on hairdos.

Darresha George told KTRK that her son Darryl was issued several disciplinary notices before he was suspended from Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, 30 miles east of Houston, for wearing his hair in a loc ponytail.

Ms George told the news site her son had been told to remain away from his high school in the same week that Texas passed the CROWN Act on 1 September, which banned race-based hair discrimination in workplaces and schools.

“I know he’s upset, and he feels terrible about it,” Ms George told KTRK.

The school district’s dress and grooming code states that male student’s hair should not extend below their eyebrows, ear lobes or the top of their t-shirt collar.

A school district spokesperson told KTRK that the district’s code was not in conflict with the CROWN Act.

Ms George told CNN that the school had initially reprimanded her son for his loc hair and for wearing frayed jeans to school.

When he refused to cut his hair, Darryl was given an in-school suspension, she said. He received another five days of suspension on 8 September, she said.

Darryl George, a 17-year-old high school student in Texas, has been suspended for wearing a loc hairstyle, his mother says (Darresha George/KTRK)
Darryl George, a 17-year-old high school student in Texas, has been suspended for wearing a loc hairstyle, his mother says (Darresha George/KTRK)

Ms George has said that her son would not cut his hair, and has hired a lawyer and is considering legal action against the school district.

Her attorney Allie Booker told CNN that the grooming code discriminates against Black students.

The Independent has contacted Barbers Hill school district and the Georges’ attorney for comment.

In 2020, Barbers Hill student De’Andre Arnold sued the district after he was ordered to cut his locs in order to be able to finish his education and attend graduation.

The lawsuit led to legislation being passed in Texas enshrining the rights of students to wear their hair without discrimination.

Locs, sometimes referred to as dreadlocks, can be worn in braided, coiled, twisted or palm-rolled styles.