African-American student from Texas sues after being suspended for his hairstyle

The lawsuit argues that George's suspension violates the state's CROWN Act

US Education-Hair Discrimination Darryl George, a 17-year-old junior, before walking across the street to go into Barbers Hill High School after serving a 5-day in-school suspension for not cutting his hair Monday, Sept. 18, 2023 | AP

Darryl George, a junior at Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, Texas, is suing Texas Governor Greg Abbott and the state's attorney general. George was suspended from the school for two weeks for wearing a natural hairstyle. 

The student and his mother are suing the officials for failing to enforce a state law that prohibits hair discrimination. The school officials stated that George's hair fell below his eyebrows and earlobes, which violated the school's dress code for male students. 

The lawsuit argues that George's suspension violates the state's CROWN Act (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair), which bans race-based hair discrimination. 

The 17-year-old was suspended just before the law went into effect on September 1. He had faced several in-school suspensions since August 31 due to his hair. 

"He has to sit on a stool for eight hours in a cubicle," Darryl's mother, Darresha George, told AP. "That's very uncomfortable. Every day he'd come home, he'd say his back hurts because he has to sit on a stool,” she added. 

The plaintiffs seek to impose a temporary restraining order against Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton to compel them to stop the district from "exposing their students to disciplinary punishment and disciplinary measures due to locs, braid, twists and other protective styles that are alleged to be or that are longer than the District or schools' length requirement." 

George’s mother, Darresha George, and the family’s attorney have argued that George's hair is neatly tied in twisted dreadlocks on top of his head and doesn't violate the dress code. 

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