Texas School Official Opposes Suspending Black Student for Locs Hairstyle in Full-Page Ad: Argues that Conformity is Important for American Identity!
CNS News–In a controversial move, the superintendent of the Barbers Hill Independent School District in Texas, Greg Poole, has defended the suspension of a Black student, Darryl George, over his locs hairstyle through a full-page newspaper advertisement. This stance comes amidst growing tensions over race-based hair discrimination, particularly in educational institutions.
The ad, published in the Houston Chronicle and funded by the Barbers Hill Education Foundation, articulates Poole’s belief that “Being an American requires conformity with the positive benefit of unity”. He draws parallels with strict codes at military academies to justify the district’s stance on hair length regulations, which have led to George’s repeated suspensions.
The district insists that its policy is not about hairstyle but hair length, stating that hair should not extend below the top of a T-shirt collar, eyebrows, or ear lobes. This case has garnered significant attention due to its potential conflict with the CROWN Act, effective in Texas since September. The CROWN Act, an acronym for “Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair”, is designed to prohibit race-based hair discrimination.
“being an American requires conformity” https://t.co/Sebnmwtvjq
— Mike Hixenbaugh (@Mike_Hixenbaugh) January 17, 2024
Despite this, the district maintains that the Act does not address hair length, which is the basis for George’s suspension. The George family has responded by filing a federal civil rights lawsuit against Texas Governor Greg Abbott and State Attorney General Ken Paxton, accusing them of failing to enforce the CROWN Act.
In a counteraction, Poole mentioned the district seeking a declaratory judgment in state district court to affirm their policy interpretation. The case highlights ongoing debates over educational policies, cultural expression, and racial discrimination.
Poole emphasizes local control and adherence to district rules, which he argues are essential for unity and consistency. Meanwhile, the George family and their supporters view this as a clear instance of racial discrimination, challenging the district’s interpretation of both the CROWN Act and the broader principles of equality and freedom of expression.