Black student suspended again after punishment over his hairstyle

Darryl George, 17, was told his locs voilated his school’s dress code (Michael Wyke/AP)
Darryl George, 17, was told his locs voilated his school’s dress code (Michael Wyke/AP)

A Black student from a high school in Texas was suspended twice due to his hair, with the school stating that his loc hairstyle violated the district’s dress code.

Darryl George, 17, attends a school in the Barbers Hill Independent School District and has been subject to punishments over his hairstyle choice.

Mr George wears his hair in locs, which are also referred to as dreadlocks and can be worn in braided, coiled, twisted or palm-rolled styles. Locs are popular and important to many ethnicities, for cultural, religious and stylistic reasons.

According to the district’s dress and grooming code, male students’ hair can not extend below the eyebrows or earlobes, according to CNN.

Darresha George, the teen’s mother, said that he had been served several disciplinary notices and was put on in-school suspension where he allegedly had to sit on a stool in a cubby for eight hours. He was ultimately suspended on 8 September, The Independent previously reported.

The teen’s first suspension came within the same week that Texas passed the CROWN Act on 1 September, which banned race-based hair discrimination in workplaces and schools.

Mr George refused to cut his hair, per the school’s request, and upon his arrival back at school, he was further suspended.

"Every day my son comes home with tears in his eyes. He’s frustrated; he’s outraged, aggravated, and it’s breaking him down mentally, physically and emotionally," Ms George told ABC News. "I have to see him taking ibuprofen because his back hurts."

Ms George also said the teen’s grades are being affected during his absence.

The family of Mr George have enlisted the help of attorney Allie Brooker, who told CNN that the school is asking for a meeting with the family to discuss the punishments given to the student over his dress code violation.

“What I expect for them to try to do is to put him out of school,” Ms Booker told CNN. “But they won’t do it with our consent.”

The family are considering filing a lawsuit against the school (Michael Wyke/AP)
The family are considering filing a lawsuit against the school (Michael Wyke/AP)

The school had previously threatened to put Mr George in a Disciplinary Alternative Education Programme if he did not cut his hair, according to Ms Booker.

The family’s attorney said she will be in contact with Child Protection Services due to the conditions he endured during in-school suspension and also plans to file a lawsuit against the school for racial discrimination and the violation of the CROWN Act, reports Insider.

The Barbers Hill Independent School District told ABC News that their dress code does not conflict with the CROWN Act.

"The Barbers Hill ISD Dress and Grooming Code permits protective hairstyles, but any hairstyle must be in conformity with the requirement that male students’ hair will not extend, at any time, below the eyebrows or below the ear lobes," the school district said to ABC News in a statement. "Further, 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."

The Independent contacted Barbers Hill school district and the Georges’ attorney last week for comment before the second suspension was reported.