Judge sides with Barbers Hill ISD in hair discrimination trial involving high school student

Thursday, February 22, 2024
Barbers Hill ISD asks for clarification on CROWN Act
Barbers Hill ISD is asking the Texas court to clarify the CROWN Act after suspending high school student Darryl George for his dreadlocks.

ANAHUAC, Texas (KTRK) -- A judge in Anahuac, Texas, sided with Barbers Hill ISD in the case involving a decision to suspend a student over his dreadlocks on Thursday.

The video above is from a previous report before the judge's ruling.

Darryl George is a junior at Barbers Hill High School.

George's lawyers claimed the teen's hairstyle was protected by the state's CROWN Act, which prohibits discrimination based on hair.

The back and forth has been going on for months, and because the school district says George is not following the dress code, he's spent most of the school year in in-school suspension or at a disciplinary program.

The district argued George's hair violates their dress code, which prohibits students from having hair that extends below the eyebrows or earlobes or worn in a style that extends below the top of a T-shirt collar.

PREVIOUS REPORT: A Texas school's punishment of a Black student who wears his hair in locs is going to trial

In a paid advertisement that ran this month at ABC13's news partners, the Houston Chronicle, Barbers Hill Superintendent Greg Poole maintained the district is not violating the CROWN Act.

In the ad, Poole defended the district's policy and wrote that districts with a traditional dress code are safer and have higher academic performance and that "being an American requires conformity."

George and his family say that his hairstyle is protected by the CROWN Act, which was passed in September.

Thursday's ruling determined if the school's dress code is, in fact, in violation of that act or not.

RELATED: Barbers Hill HS student suspended for 2nd time over hair length, despite CROWN Act in place

George's mom and State Rep. Ron Reynolds, one of the co-authors of the CROWN Act, had a lot to say about all of this soon after the controversy started.

"I just really want my son to get the education he needs and not be discriminated because of his hair," George's mom said.

"They should have done this in the beginning. If they had questions about whether or not it violated the state law, then they should have done this in the beginning so they wouldn't be subjecting students like Darryl to in-school suspension," Reynolds said.

"To see it happen all over again after we've worked so hard to get the bill passed in a bi-partisan way, it is a slap in the face," Reynolds added since the CROWN Act is inspired by De'Andre Arnold, a former student who sued this same district in 2020.


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