HOUSTON (AP) — The family of a black high school student in Texas, United States on Saturday filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the state's governor and attorney general over his ongoing suspension by his school district for his hairstyle.
Darryl George, 17, a junior at Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, has been serving an in-school suspension since August 31 at the Houston-area school. School officials say his dreadlocks fall below his eyebrows and ear lobes and violate the district’s dress code.
George’s mother, Darresha George, and the family’s attorney deny the teenager’s hairstyle violates the dress code, saying his hair is neatly tied in twisted dreadlocks on top of his head.
The lawsuit accuses Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton of failing to enforce the CROWN Act, a new state law outlawing racial discrimination based on hairstyles. Darryl George's supporters allege the ongoing suspension by the Barbers Hill Independent School District violates the law, which took effect September 1.
The lawsuit alleges Abbott and Paxton, in their official duties, have failed to protect Darryl George's constitutional rights against discrimination and against violations of his freedom of speech and expression.