A Texas school district that has suspended a student for nearly two weeks over his loc hairstyle has asked a court to clarify if the district’s dress code violates the CROWN Act, a state law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of hair.
Barbers Hill High School student Darryl George has spent more than two weeks serving in-school suspension because his locs violated the district’s dress code, which states “male students’ hair will not extend, at any time, below the eyebrows or below the ear lobes.”
Attorneys for Barbers Hill Independent School District on Wednesday asked a court to clarify “whether the newly passed CROWN Act prohibits grooming policies addressing the length of a male student’s hair,” according to district spokesperson David Bloom.
“Although we believe the new law does not govern hair length, we are asking the judicial system of Texas to interpret,” Barbers Hill Superintendent Greg Poole said in a statement shared with CNN.
The school district also said it will not “enhance” the disciplinary action against George. The 17-year-old was suspended again this week after returning from his original suspension.
He had previously been warned that repeated violations of the dress code would result in him being sent to a Disciplinary Alternative Education Program, also known as an alternative school, CNN previously reported.
George, a junior at Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, has received multiple disciplinary action notes for wearing his loc hairstyle in a ponytail, his mother, Darresha George, previously told CNN.
She said her son was suspended the same week the state’s CROWN Act, a law prohibiting discrimination based on one’s hair texture or protective hairstyle such as locs and braids, went into effect.
School officials told George his loc hairstyle violated the Barbers Hill Independent School District dress and grooming code, which states, “Male students’ hair must not extend below the top of a t-shirt collar or be gathered or worn in a style that would allow the hair to extend below the top of a t-shirt collar, below the eyebrows, or below the ear lobes when let down.”
George has worn his locs in a ponytail and braided. His family has said his locs include strands from his grandfather and father and they do not intend to cut them.
The family has previously said they are also considering taking legal action against the district.