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HOW A BLACK STUDENT’S FAMILY SUES TEXAS OFFICIALS OVER HIS SUSPENSION FOR HIS HAIRSTYLE (810 hits)


For Immediate Release!


HOUSTON — The family of a Black high school student in Texas on Saturday filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the state’s governor and attorney general over his ongoing suspension by his school district for his hairstyle.
Darryl George, 17, a junior at Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, has been serving an in-school suspension since Aug. 31 at the Houston-area school. School officials say his dreadlocks fall below his eyebrows and ear lobes and violate the district’s dress code.

George’s mother, Darresha George, and the family’s attorney deny the teenager’s hairstyle violates the dress code, saying his hair is neatly tied in twisted dreadlocks on top of his head.

The lawsuit accuses Gov. Greg Abbott and Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton of failing to enforce the CROWN Act, a new state law outlawing racial discrimination based on hairstyles. Darryl George’s supporters allege the ongoing suspension by the Barbers Hill Independent School District violates the law, which took effect Sept. 1.

The lawsuit alleges Abbott and Paxton, in their official duties, have failed to protect Darryl George’s constitutional rights against discrimination and against violations of his freedom of speech and expression. Darryl George “should be permitted to wear his hair in the manner in which he wears it ... because the so-called neutral grooming policy has no close association with learning or safety and when applied, disproportionately impacts Black males,” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit, filed in Houston federal court by Darryl George’s mother, is the latest legal action taken related to the suspension.

On Tuesday, Darresha George and her attorney filed a formal complaint with the Texas Education Agency, alleging Darryl George is being harassed and mistreated by school district officials over his hair and that his in-school suspension is in violation of the CROWN Act.

They allege that during his suspension, Darryl George is forced to sit for eight hours on a stool and that he’s being denied the hot free lunch he’s qualified to receive. The agency is investigating the complaint.

Darresha George said she was recently hospitalized after a series of panic and anxiety attacks brought on from stress related to her son’s suspension.

On Wednesday, the school district filed its own lawsuit in state court asking a judge to clarify whether its dress code restrictions limiting student hair length for boys violates the CROWN Act.

Barbers Hill Superintendent Greg Poole has said he believes the dress code is legal and that it teaches students to conform as a sacrifice benefiting everyone.

The school district said it would not enhance the current punishment against Darryl George while it waits for a ruling on its lawsuit.

The CROWN Act, an acronym for “Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair,” is intended to prohibit race-based hair discrimination and bars employers and schools from penalizing people because of hair texture or protective hairstyles including Afros, braids, dreadlocks, twists or Bantu knots. Texas is one of 24 states that have enacted a version of the act.

A federal version of it passed in the U.S. House last year, but was not successful in the Senate.

Read the full article HERE! https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story...
Posted By: agnes levine
Monday, September 25th 2023 at 12:08PM
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