The state of Texas passed a law against hair discrimination on the first day of September. But a 17-year-old high school student has had to spend the majority of the year in in-school suspension because of his dreadlocks, his mother told ABC13.
“I know he’s upset, and he feels terrible about it,” Darryl’s mother, Darresha George, said. Darryl is a student at Barbers Hill High School. His suspension comes after a similar situation that happened in the school led to the enactment of the CROWN Act.
The individual who was told to cut his locks, De’Andre Arnold, filed a lawsuit with other plaintiffs in the wake of the incident. “Absolutely zero excuse for this school district that knows the policy to do this all over again,” Rep. Ron Reynolds, D-Missouri City, one of the authors of the legislation, said.
The school district’s handbook stipulates that male students cannot wear hair that goes beyond the eyebrows or earlobes. Students’ hair cannot also go below the top of a T-shirt collar, ABC13 reported.
A district spokesperson, however, told the news outlet that the rule with regard to hair “is not in conflict with the CROWN Act.” “The vaguer the law, the more challenges you can expect,” Peyton Peebles, an attorney, said.
Peebles also said that though the CROWN Act doesn’t make mention of hair length, it “could be a way to discriminate against certain hairstyles without being openly discriminatory.”
“It has the effect of preventing somebody from wearing a hairstyle that they may otherwise want to wear,” Peebles added.