Activism & Campaigns

Texas judge insists school was right in punishing boy for declining to change his hairstyle

A judge has ruled that a punishment handed out to a black high school student, Darryl George, for declining to change his hairstyle does not contravene the state’s new law barring race-based hair discrimination.

The 18-year-old boy has absented himself from his regular Houston-area high school classes since August 31 because the district, Barbers Hill, maintains that George’s hair length violates its dress code.

In the lawsuit filed by the district, it argued that George’s long hair, styled in tied and twisted locs atop his head, violates the school’s policy as it would extend beyond specified lengths when let down. The district added that other students with locs adhere to the length policy.

Following approximately three hours of testimony, Judge Chap Cain III ruled in favor of the school district, stating that its policy isn’t discriminatory as the CROWN Act doesn’t explicitly permit exemptions for protected hairstyles, such as locs.

The judge further emphasized the courts must refrain from altering the terms of the legislation, according to the Associated Press.

“Judges should not legislate from the bench and I am not about to start today,” Cain said.

The CROWN Act, which was implemented in September, aims to combat race-based hair discrimination, safeguarding individuals from penalties due to hair texture or protective hairstyles like Afros, braids, locs, twists, or Bantu knots.

Despite the ruling against George, the judge advised him to seek resolution through avenues such as the state Legislature or school board.

George’s family has taken further action by lodging a formal complaint with the Texas Education Agency and initiating a federal civil rights lawsuit against Gov. Greg Abbott, Attorney General Ken Paxton, and the school district.

They allege a failure on the part of the authorities to enforce the CROWN Act. The lawsuit is currently being heard by a federal judge in Galveston.

Allie Booker, George’s attorney, said she intends to pursue an injunction in the federal lawsuit to halt George’s punishment, in addition to appealing Thursday’s decision.

Throughout much of the school year, George, a junior, has been either serving an in-school suspension at Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu or attending an off-site disciplinary program.

“The Texas legal system has validated our position that the district’s dress code does not violate the CROWN Act and that the CROWN Act does not give students unlimited self-expression,” Barbers Hill Superintendent Greg Poole said in a statement.

During the trial, the district chose not to present witnesses but submitted evidence, including an affidavit from the superintendent, supporting the dress code policy.

District attorneys contended that the policy doesn’t breach the CROWN Act as the law doesn’t address hair length.

George and his mother, Darresha George, before the trial, were very hopeful. George argued that wearing the locs was “how I feel closer to my people. It’s how I feel closer to my ancestors. It’s just me. It’s how I am.”

Following the ruling, George and his mother were visibly emotional, shedding tears and opting not to engage with reporters.

Candice Matthews, a spokesperson for George’s family, recounted how the 18-year-old expressed his frustration and disbelief, questioning whether his education was being impeded solely because of his hairstyle: “All because of my hair? I can’t get my education because of my hair?”

Stephen Nartey

Recent Posts

1993 Ford Bronco used by OJ Simpson in infamous 90-minute car chase to go on sale for $1.5M

In the aftermath of O.J. Simpson’s death, the infamous white Bronco which is central to…

4 hours ago

Remains of 19-year-old WWII sailor who went missing finally identified

The body of David Walker, a 19-year-old black sailor from Norfolk, VA, who went missing…

7 hours ago

Nigeria’s Eniola Aluko is the first black woman to own a club in Italy

Eniola Aluko has made history by becoming the first black woman to own a club…

9 hours ago

After near-death experience, Serena Williams launches new initiative with Elaine Welteroth to help mothers

Elaine Welteroth, a mompreneur and TV personality, has partnered with 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena…

10 hours ago

How Levi’s stock jumped because of Beyonce’s new song

Levi’s stock rose 20% earlier this month following the release of a Beyoncé song called…

11 hours ago

Nigerian artist Fred Ajanogha to build Tina Turner’s bronze statue in her hometown

Tina Turner, a native of Brownsville, Tennessee, is set to receive a huge honor as…

12 hours ago

OJ Simpson’s family to cremate him amid several requests for his brain to be donated to research

OJ Simpson’s longtime attorney and executor Malcolm LaVergne said the deceased ex-NFL star’s brain would…

12 hours ago

Nigeria: Popular female transgender celebrity Bobrisky serving sentence in male prison

Popular Nigerian female transgender celebrity Bobrisky has been sentenced to six months in jail after…

13 hours ago

Brittney Griner and wife Cherelle announce they’re expecting their first child

WNBA star Brittney Griner and her wife Cherelle took to Instagram over the weekend to…

13 hours ago

TikTok star Mizzy vows to turn over a new leaf as he returns to college after serving prison sentence

TikTok troublemaker Mizzy, known for his controversial stunts, has claimed that he's turned over a…

3 days ago

HERide is the first Black-owned rideshare company authorized to operate at the world’s busiest airport

Jillian Anderson and DeVynne Starks are the founders of the female-friendly rideshare company HERide, which…

3 days ago

Watch: Conjoined twins give answers to people’s burning questions in viral video

Conjoined twins Lupita and Carmen Andrade have stepped forward to address some curiosity-driven questions that…

3 days ago

Oscar Pistorius begins new life as he performs janitorial duties at local church

The stark contrast between winning Paralympic gold and performing janitorial duties at a suburban church…

3 days ago

How this Senegalese entrepreneur grew her luxury tea brand with only $200

Adja Sembene Fall, a Senegalese entrepreneur, emerged victorious in the AgriPitch competition sponsored by the…

3 days ago

Ed Dwight: America’s first Black astronaut candidate will finally get his flight to space at 90

90-year-old Ed Dwight will at long last be able to fly into space. Jeff Bezos's…

3 days ago