Texas School Superintendent Takes Out Full-Page Ad Defending Suspension Of Black Student Over His Hair
Michael Wyke/AP

A Texas superintendent is defending the decision to repeatedly droop a Black scholar for sporting his pure hair in locs.

Greg Poole, Barbers Hill Impartial Faculty District superintendent, took out a full-page newspaper advert within the Houston Chronicle, explaining his rationale for suspending 17-year-old Darryl George, the Washington Put up experiences. 

“Being an American requires conformity with the optimistic good thing about unity,” Poole wrote.”Now we have taken the extremely uncommon step of searching for a declaratory judgment in state district court docket to confirm our interpretation,” he continued.

The advert ran on January 14 after the Chronicle printed an editorial criticizing the district’s actions. This week, George’s household filed a 3rd request for spiritual exemption in order that he might attend college months after he was initially disciplined.

George was initially suspended in August and served an in-school suspension for violating the coed costume code.

The teenager’s household filed a federal civil rights criticism in Texas Southern District Court docket towards State Lawyer Common Ken Paxton and Governor Greg Abbott in response to the suspension, claiming that the penalty violates the CROWN Act, which stands for “Create a Respectful and Open World for Pure Hair.”

The invoice, which protects residents from race-based hair discrimination, became law in Texas last September.

Quickly afterward, the varsity district hit George with a 30-day suspension in December 2023 “for refusing to vary his locs coiffure.”

Poole wrote that George’s suspension was based mostly on his hair size, not his coiffure, which isn’t protected by the Crown Act. In keeping with him, though the district has a small proportion of African-American college students, it has a progressive historical past, citing Black college board members who helped set coverage within the Seventies and now.

As well as, the Barbers Hill Impartial Faculty District superintendent stated different Black college students have obtained spiritual exemptions from the varsity’s costume code, which permits braids, locs, and twists however requires boys’ hair to not lengthen previous their eyebrows or earlobes. Household representatives stated George wears locs that don’t go beneath his ears, they usually had utilized twice earlier than for exemptions for these however had been denied. The district stated George’s hair was longer when let down than allowed.

The household’s legal professional, Allie Booker, acknowledged on the lawsuit’s announcement that the varsity district’s justification is prohibited within the state since “hair size is a part of a coiffure.” 

“That may be a pretextual excuse,” stated Allie Booker, the household’s legal professional. “The reality is that they permit White males to put on their hair lengthy, simply not Black ones. … It’s about race and nappy coarse hair being lengthy.”

Poole claimed that Booker was making an attempt to make use of the lawsuit to “bankrupt” the varsity district.

Though the district coverage doesn’t prohibit college students from sporting locs, it limits what kinds boys can put on and bans something “that may enable the hair to increase beneath the highest of a t-shirt collar, beneath the eyebrows, or beneath the ear lobes when let down.”

In keeping with Poole, the household signed an settlement with the varsity district, and George should adhere to the district’s guidelines.

“In the end, this is a matter of native management and deciding who must be setting the insurance policies, targets, and expectations of our faculty district,” Poole wrote.


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