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Congressional Black Caucus to Welcome Black Texas Student Suspended for Natural Hair as State of the Union Guest

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Washington, March 7, 2024 | comments

A Texas district judge ruled that punishment does not violate law banning race-based hair discrimination, highlighting need to pass the CROWN Act at the federal level

Darryl George, 18, has been out of the regular classroom since August 31st, 2023

Today, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Steven Horsford (NV-04) and members of the Congressional Black Caucusannounced that Darryl George and his mother Darresha George of Anahuac, Texas will accompany the Caucus to this year's State of the Union Address on March 7, 2024.

Darryl George, a Black student at Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, Texas, has for months faced disciplinary actions by the school district for refusing to cut his locs, which the school says are in violation of its policy. For most of his junior year, George has either served in-school suspension at Barbers Hill High School or spent time at an off-site disciplinary program. On February 22, 2024, Texas district Judge Chap Cain III ruled in favor of the Barbers Hill Independent School District, saying the school districts’ policy is not discriminatory and does not violate the Texas CROWN Act, which went into effect on September 1, 2023. 

The ruling and circumstances around George’s monthslong punishment has renewed a national conversation over race-based hair discrimination in schools and the workplace. Moreover, the situation exemplifies a common experience of discrimination that Black Americans face and the need to pass the CROWN Act at the federal level to end race-based hair discrimination nationwide, which the CBC aims to highlight. 

Representative Steven Horsford (NV-04), Congressional Black Caucus Chairman, offered the following quote:

“There is no sound justification for the way the Barbers Hill Independent School District is treating Darryl George. 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. 

“We applaud Darryl and his mother Darresha George for their courage in standing up for what is right, and Dr. Adjoa B. Asamoah for leading the national movement to outlaw race-based hair discrimination. 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.” 

Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), lead primary sponsor of The CROWN Act, offered the following quote:

"I introduced the CROWN Act to prohibit discrimination based on a person's hair texture or hairstyle," said Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman. "The treatment of Darryl George over the last six months highlights the need to pass the CROWN Act on the federal level. Using in-school-suspension for this long, MONTHS, and over a civil rights dispute is atrocious. 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."

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