A Texas superintendent is defending the decision to suspend a Black student over his locs hairstyle in a Houston Chronicle newspaper ad.
According to The Messenger, Barbers Hill ISD superintendent Greg Poole defended the school district’s position to repeatedly suspend Darryl George for how he wore his locs.
“being an American requires conformity” https://t.co/Sebnmwtvjq
— Mike Hixenbaugh (@Mike_Hixenbaugh) January 17, 2024
“Being an American requires conformity with the positive benefit of unity,” wrote Poole, discussing George’s case.
He continued, “We have taken the highly unusual step of seeking a declaratory judgment in state district court to verify our interpretation.”
Poole also said in the letter that Darryl George moved to the district from a place that allows longer hair and that the decision is up to local officials.
“Ultimately, this is an issue of local control and deciding who should be setting the policies, goals, and expectations of our school district,” Poole wrote.
Black Student Suspended for Hairstyle
Darryl George a Texas teenager was suspended earlier this year for wearing locs that the school says violates its dress code. Barbers Hill HS policy states Boys are not allowed to wear hair styles “that would allow the hair to extend below… pic.twitter.com/aMoMKkgXwd
— Brooklyn (@bklynborn1210) December 7, 2023
Darryl George, 18, was removed from his high school and sent to a disciplinary alternative education program after being suspended for more than a month over his choice to wear his locs unpinned and below his eyebrows.
George was sent to the alternative program EPIC from Oct. 12 through Nov. 29, for what the principal called a “failure to comply” with campus and classroom regulations.
In December, George’s family filed a formal complaint with the Texas Education Agency, as well as a federal civil rights lawsuit against Gov. Greg Abbott, Attorney General Ken Paxton, and the school district for violating the state’s CROWN ACT.
During a hearing for the federal lawsuit, Darryl George’s attorney, Allie Booker, told the judge that she fears he could be expelled, but says he’s a strong-minded kid.
“He’s not going to break,” said Booker. “He’s strong … He’s like, ‘I’m not going to cut my hair, but I just can’t believe I’m going through this.’”
The CROWN ACT, or House Bill 567, went into effect Sept. 1, 2021. Since then, over 20 states have enacted some form of the CROWN Act, which bans discrimination in schools and the workplace based on Black hair texture and style.
CROWN, which stands for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, protects individuals from discrimination over natural and protective hairstyles in the workplace, schools and other institutions. The legislation also ensures that people with unique hairstyles like locs, Bantu knots or afros, aren’t deprived of educational and employment opportunities. New Jersey Rep. Bonnie Waston Coleman is fighting for the Senate to pass the historic legislation across the United States.
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