A Black Texas high school student was suspended over his locs just days after a state law went into effect prohibiting discrimination based on hairstyles.
Darryl George, a junior at Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, received multiple notices and was placed on in-school suspension for wearing his loc'd hair in a ponytail, his mother Darresha George told CNN.
This happened the same week that Texas' CROWN Actwent into effect, which bans discriminatory practices against natural hair texture and styles like braids, locs, twists and knots in the workplace and at school.
Darresha said her son is frustrated over the school's actions.
"He's very anxious, very aggravated right now because he keeps getting punished for something that's irrelevant to his education," she told CNN.
The family hired a lawyer and is considering legal action.
The school's rebuttal is that the suspension is not based on his hairstyle, but its length. The school told Darresha that the disciplinary actions were a result of her son's failure to abide by its "Dress and Grooming Code."
Per the code, the school's rule on hair for males is as follows: "Male students' hair will not extend, at any time, below the eyebrows or below the ear lobes. Male students' hair must not extend below the top of a t-shirt collar or be gathered or worn in a style that would allow the hair to extend below the top of a t-shirt collar, below the eyebrows, or below the ear lobes when let down."
Darryl was also punished for wearing frayed jeans, which are banned by the school.
The 17-year-old could change his clothes, but he was not willing to cut his hair, his mother said.
On top of the suspension, Darryl is in jeopardy of being placed in an alternative education program if he doesn't chop his hair by the end of the week.
Darresha believes the school's policy violates the CROWN Act, and said she and her son will continue to fight.
"I want to see their policy change and stop being discriminatory against Black kids. I want to see my son out of ISS (in-school suspension). I don't want any other child that's coming behind my son to go through this again," said Darresha.
The family's attorney, Allie Booker, told CNN that the school's policy on hair seems to single out Black students.
"It leads you to believe that OK, even when let down, long hair is not allowed — even if it's loc'd and it's put up in a neat manner," Booker said. "So basically, you have to cut your locs; you have to cut your braids."
Locs are an African hairstyle in which hair has been coiled, braided, twisted or rolled to create a rope-like appearance. Locs prevents the strands from losing moisture and can last a long time.
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