MONT BELVIEU, Texas – The CROWN Act, a law prohibiting race-based hair discrimination, officially went into effect on Sept. 1 in Texas.
However, a local family said one Houston area school district is breaking the rules by kicking their student out of the classroom for weeks because of his natural hairstyle.
Darresha George said her son’s hair represents more than just a style.
“It is a part of who we are,” she said.
She said her son, Darryl George, a junior at Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, has been in in-school suspension since Aug. 31, which is the same week Texas outlawed racial discrimination based on hairstyles.
“I had a meeting with the principal and the assistant principal, and they said it’s because the CROWN Act doesn’t cover the length of his hair,” said Darresha George.
According to the dress code posted on Barbers Hill ISD’s website, the policies were established to teach grooming and hygiene, instill discipline, and ensure students are dressed in a manner that is clean and neat.
The policy states that male students’ hair cannot extend below their eyebrows or ear lobes, not even if the hair is gathered or pulled back.
“I want them to change their policies. I want them to stop discriminating against Black and brown kids. Not just mine, but any other Black or brown kid,” said Darresha George.
Darresha George said her son has not worn his hair down since school started in mid-August.
“I’m trying to figure out how he is getting violated when y’all never seen his hair let down. How do y’all know if it’s below his eyebrows?” she questioned.
This is her son’s first year at the school, as the family just moved to the area. The hair problems are not just causing them headaches; it’s impacting Darryl’s entire high school experience.
“His grades are failing, like they are going down drastically. He’s not getting a proper education. He’s not getting the proper instruction,” said Darresha George.
“I’d like to go back to class and do what I need to do to get my education,” said Darryl George.
KPRC 2 reached out to Barbers Hill ISD. The district defended its dress code and said it does not conflict with the CROWN Act.
Officials would not discuss the case any further, however, the family says it will not back down.