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Throughout history, Black and Brown people have been the target of discrimination due to their natural hair. And according to a Texas teen banned from school because of his hair, not much has changed.
Texas Teen Banned from School Because of Hair
Recently, a Barbers Hill High School student was suspended from class for weeks after wearing his natural locs to school. And Darryl, the student in question, is calling the ruling discrimination.
School guidelines state that the length of your hair should not exceed past your shoulders. It should also be pulled back and away from your face. But according to Allie Booker, an attorney representing the 17-year-old student, her client was following the dress code.
“As long as the hair is not below the lobe, below the eyelids, hiding the eyes, on the nape of the neck, at the collar, he’s fine. And it doesn’t matter if he twists his locs up.” She explained in a statement to the press.
But even though the ruling has stirred up quite the controversy, it isn’t the Texas high school’s first time making headlines.
Barbers Hill High School Involved in Natural Hair Discrimination Lawsuit
The Mont Belvieu high school came under fire after suspending a student Deandre Arnold for his locs, stating they were too long.
“There is no dress code policy that prohibits any cornrow or any other method of wearing of the hair,” said Superintendent Greg Poole. “Our policy limits the length. It’s been that way for 30 years.”
But according to Arnold, his lengthy locs are nothing new. In fact, the high school senior says that he’d be wearing them for years. He shares that his hair is part of his Trinidadian identity. He explained that all of his male relatives grow their hair as a symbol of pride for their roots.
However, his reasoning wasn’t enough for district officials who ruled that Arnold would be banned from school and graduation unless he cut his hair according to school guidelines.
Texas Teen Banned For His Hair Isn’t The Only One
His cousin, Kaden Bradford also endured discriminatory treatment for his natural hair. As a result, he was disenrolled from school to attend another. In addition to this, he and Arnold filed grievances, then a lawsuit stating the school unfairly targeted them.
Inspired by his story, Texas legislators worked to sign The CROWN Act, which would prohibit the discrimination of natural hairstyles.
And fortunately for the pair, the judge ruled in their favor, saying that Barbers Hill High School had unfairly treated the boys.
What is the CROWN Act?
The CROWN Act is a law designed to shield people from being discriminated against due to their natural hair. The CROWN Act — a.k.a “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair” was first signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom on July 3, 2019.
The move marked a historic win for people with curly and kinky hair textures. And later, 22 other states would follow suit, signing The Crown Act into state legislature to prevent others from being target for their hair.