Family of Black high school student suspended for hairstyle sues Texas officials

The family of a Black student who was suspended from his high school over his hairstyle filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Saturday against Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and the state’s attorney general, alleging they failed to enforce a new state law that outlaws discrimination on hairstyles.

Darryl George, a 17-year-old student at Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, Texas, has been serving an in-school suspension since Aug. 31 after school officials said his dreadlocks violated the district’s dress and grooming code. Although the district’s policy does not prohibit dreadlocks or braids, it states that male students cannot “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.”

But George’s mother, Darresha George, and Allie Booker, the family’s attorney, have denied that the teenager’s hairstyle violates the district’s policy. George has twisted dreadlocks tied on top of his head that he wears as an “outward expression of his Black identity and culture,” according to the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

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