Black Student Suspended Over Dreadlocks Sent To Disciplinary Alternative School

Daryl George’s family filed a civil rights lawsuit citing Texas’ CROWN Act that bans hair discrimination.

Daryl George, an 18-year-old Black student, faces a new penalty for his dreadlocks hairstyle after serving a lengthy in-school suspension in a dispute over a state law prohibiting race-based hair discrimination.

According to KATV News, Barbers Hill High School’s principal informed George’s family that the school will send him to EPIC, an alternative school, to attend a disciplinary education program from Oct. 12 through Nov. 29.

Principal Lance Murphy wrote in a letter to George’s family that school officials are sending him to the program because of his “failure to comply,” CNN reports.

“As the School Principal, I have determined that your child has engaged in chronic or repeated disciplinary infractions that violate the District’s previously communicated standards of student conduct,” Murphy wrote, according to CNN.

Barbers Hills’ Independent School District in Mount Belvieu, Texas,  has strict policies around male students and their hair length. Page 55 of the handbook states that hair cannot extend below the eyebrows, ear lobes, or top of a T-shirt collar. Well-groomed hair and geometric-shaped hair must be maintained by all students.

Murphy banned George from returning to regular classroom instruction until Nov. 30. He cannot return to campus before that date unless he’s there to discuss his conduct with school administrators.

Why Texas School District Suspended Black Boy Over Dreadlocks, Despite Hair Discrimination Ban

In September, the family’s attorney filed a complaint with the Texas Education Agency and a federal civil rights lawsuit against the state’s governor and attorney general for not enforcing Texas’ CROWN Act (Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) that took effect on Sept. 1.

The law is intended to ban hair discrimination and prohibits employers and schools from punishing people because of their hair choices, including braids, dreadlocks, twists, Bantu knots and Afros.

George has served in-school suspension since Aug. 31. Darresha George previously told the Associated Press that school district officials told her that his dreadlocks fall below his eyebrows and ear lobes, violating the district’s dress code.

Indeed, when let down, his dreadlocks hang above his shoulders. However, the teen has tied them on his head since the new school year began to comply with guidelines. Still, officials say he violates district regulations based on their reading of the new law.

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