Discriminatory Hair Policy at Texas School Removed After Complaints From Student’s Mom Goes Viral

Discriminatory Hair Policy at Texas School Removed After Complaints From Student’s Mom Goes Viral

An unjust hair policy has now reportedly been removed from an East Bernard, Texas, high school’s website after making headlines for denying a Black teen enrollment due to his loc hairstyle.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the policy was scrapped after the boy’s mother shook up the school board with her public complaints.

As previously reported, Dyree Williams, 17, recently transferred schools to East Bernard from Cincinnati. He and his mother were shocked to learn of the banned “braided hair or corn rows” rule because these hairstyles are part of his identity and connection to his ancestors.

“Once you cut that hair off, you cut off your line to your ancestors, you cut off your lineage, you cut off everything,” said Desiree Bullock, the teen’s mother.

She tried to meet with the school administration over the discriminatory rule, hoping there’d be some leeway for her son. The staff simply referred them back to the dress code policy in the student handbook. Bullock filed for a religious exemption with the district superintendent, but she was denied.

“We don’t consider them dreadlocks because we don’t dread them, we love them,” she stated, per the outlet. 

The policy, which was still in effect until last week, stated male students’ hair “may not extend below the eyebrows, below the tops of the ears or below a conventional standup shirt collar, and must not be more than one-inch difference in the length of the hair on the side to the length of the hair on top.”

However, according to district superintendent Courtney Hudgins, “East Bernard ISD has not denied enrollment to the individual involved in this situation, as no enrollment or registration documents have been filed,” she said last week.

Brian Klosterboer, attorney for the ACLU of Texas, contends he is uncertain that the East Bernard Independent School District will update their dress code policies.

“I’m not sure if they are making changes,” he said Tuesday after the policy was taken off the district website. “It could mean that they’re updating and changing it or maybe they just took it down and they’re still enforcing it.”