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Texas Judge Rules School Didn't Violate CROWN Act When Suspending Black Student Over Locs
Darryl George, who attends Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvie (NBC)

Texas Judge Rules School Didn’t Violate CROWN Act When Suspending Black Student Over Locs

A judge has determined that a Texas school did not violate the state’s CROWN Act when it suspended a teenager for not trimming his locs.

On Thursday, State District Judge Chap Cain III handed down the ruling, stating that Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, about 30 miles east of Houston, did not violate Texas’s CROWN Act when penalizing Darryl George for the length of his dreadlocks. The CROWN Act aims to prohibit race-based hair discrimination. This concluded a months-long battle that caused Darryl George to be kicked out of school on August 31, 2023, and ultimately sent to a disciplinary school. According to the school dress and grooming policy, students’ hair cannot be below the earlobes. However, George regularly wore his hair pinned up. Still, the school gave him a choice to cut his locs or face suspension. He and his family escalated the matter, but even with the support of activists, a judge was lawful when taking action against George.

Barbers Hill Superintendent Greg Poole previously defended the grooming policy, angering many in January when he wrote in a local newspaper that “being an American requires conformity.” With this latest development, the district seems content with the judgment, while George’s family and supporters are left to continue the fight.

The ruling stirred reactions of disappointment and surprise among those present in the courthouse, including advocates for natural hair. George himself was visibly upset and did not give a statement following the ruling.

“When I accompanied Darryl and his mom to the car, I saw a child that was crying, and he was upset, and he didn’t understand,” State Representative Jolanda Jones shared with reporters, adding that the judge’s decision also angered his mother, Darresha. The family is planning to appeal.

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