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Texas Student Suspended for Refusing to Cut His Locs to Attend State of the Union as CBC Guest

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Photo of Darryl and a relative
Source: Youtube.com/WRAL

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) is set to warmly invite a Texas student who faced suspension due to his hairstyle to President Biden’s upcoming State of the Union address on Thursday.

Darryl George, an African American student at Barbers Hill High School in Mount Belvieu, has endured months of in-school suspension for his refusal to trim his locs.

While the school administration contends that George’s hairstyle violates its policy, George and his family argue that the policy contravenes the state’s CROWN Act, implemented last September.

The CROWN Act, an acronym for “Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair,” prohibits discrimination based on natural hair textures and styles.

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“There is no sound justification for the way the Barbers Hill Independent School District is treating Darryl George,” said Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Nev.), chair of the CBC. “Darryl is a young student who just wants to go to school and receive an education. Darryl, and any student, should be allowed to go to school in a safe environment, free from this sort of bullying and mistreatment by the school system.”

In 2019, California became the pioneer state in enacting the CROWN Act. Subsequently, 22 other states, including Texas, have followed suit. However, on February 22, Texas District Judge Chap Cain III ruled in favor of the Barbers Hill Independent School District, affirming that its policy is non-discriminatory and does not violate the Texas CROWN Act.

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Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), the primary sponsor of a federal CROWN Act, emphasized the significance of George’s ordeal as a catalyst for the passage of a federal CROWN Act.

“Using in-school-suspension for this long, months, and over a civil rights dispute is atrocious,” Watson Coleman said. “They’ve told this young man, ‘Your hair, the hair God gave you, is wrong. You must change the hair God gave you to conform to what we want to see.’ At this point they’re not trying to punish him, they’re trying to break his spirit. God bless him, they haven’t yet.”

“Subjecting a student to months of in-school suspension over a civil rights dispute is reprehensible,” said Watson Coleman. “They have essentially conveyed to this young man, ‘Your natural hair, bestowed upon you by God, is unacceptable. You must conform to our standards.’ At this juncture, their objective is not merely punitive; it is to shatter his spirit. We commend his resilience thus far.”

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However, Horsford reiterated the CBC’s unwavering support for Darryl George, asserting, “The CBC stands in full support of Darryl’s personal right to wear his hair the way he chooses, and we are calling for the Barbers Hill Independent School District to end this discriminatory farce and immediately allow him to return to the classroom and receive his education.”

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