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U.S. Rep. Joins Fight Against Hair Discrimination In Texas Public Schools

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee joins fight against hair discrimination in Texas schools after a state court ruling validated a high-schooler's suspension for his locs.

U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) is joining the fight against alleged hair discrimination in Texas public schools. Jackson Lee is rallying behind a teen amid his ongoing battle with Barber Hills High School for wearing his hair in locs.

Rep. Jackson Lee spoke at a press conference on Feb. 23 to urge the Department of Education to investigate the matter of Darryl George, in footage shared by Fox 26. The 18-year-old student has faced suspension for his locs since the start of the school year in August. George has been forced into alternative school or in-school suspension after administrators informed him that his locs violate the school dress code. However, George and his family have argued that his punishment for having the natural Black hairstyle violates the Crown Act, which was legalized within the state in May 2023 to prohibit race-based hair discrimination.

“I never thought I’d be standing here in 2024 to fight this fight,” she stated. “The opinion to say that a teenage boy has to be isolated in a cubicle or a class and cannot interact [with other students] because he has [locs] that are way up on his head, not doing anything to disturb the respect he would have for his fellow students, for his teachers, for his activities that are needed. There’s nothing.”

The Texas lawmaker continued, noting that she is “stunned” that she has to rally behind the high-schooler to ensure he is not discriminated against.

“I am stunned, literally stunned, of a fight that I have to make for young Mr. George to be treated like a decent human being and be able to receive the education that the tax dollars of his parents and his family pay for every single day,” expressed the elected official.

Her support of George comes after a recent court ruling in favor of the Texas school district, saying it is not violating the Crown Act, stating the issue is with the length of the teen’s locs. In the wake of the news, the Barber Hills Independent School District’s Superintendent Greg Poole denounced the claim that racism was at play and that the CROWN Act is not a protector of “unlimited self-expression.”

“The CROWN Act does not give students unlimited self-expression,” shared Poole in a written statement detailed by the Houston Chronicle. “High expectations have helped make Barbers Hill ISD a state leader in all things and high school standards benefit all ethnicities… Falsely claiming racism is worse than racism and undermines efforts to address actions that violate constitutionally protected rights.”

Jackson Lee intends to seek justice on behalf of George, believing the issue violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as the legal battle continues.

RELATED CONTENT: Darryl George: Judge Rules Texas School Hair Policy Not In Violation Of CROWN Act