Click 2 Houston reported this week that the school district in East Bernard, Texas is being accused of preventing a Black student from enrolling because his mother wouldn't cut his dreadlocks.
“The boys cannot have hair past their ears. I explained to her that my son has locks in his hair, and well, she was like, ‘Well he’s going to have to cut those,’” the boy's mother, Desiree Bullock, told the local news outlet.
"Bullock, who moved to East Bernard in February, said a school guidance counselor at East Bernard High School informed her of the policy. East Bernard ISD’s student handbook outlines its dress code and hair policy, which also forbids 'braided hair or twisted rows/strands," according to Click 2 Houston.
According to the report, Bullock went so far as to seek a religious exemption from the superintendent, which was denied.
"The debate over hair policies in Texas school districts isn’t new," noted the report. "A federal judge in Aug. 2020 ruled the Barbers Hill Independent School District’s dress code was discriminatory after two Black students were suspended over the length of their dreadlocks. The school district eventually revised its policy."
Federal law is unclear on the subject of hair discrimination; the Civil Rights Act only clearly discriminates against immutable body characteristics, but that still leaves room to discriminate against Black people for wearing their hair in a natural or culturally traditional way. In March, the House passed the CROWN Act, which would extend civil rights protections to common racially-associated hairstyles.
Mother says she can’t enroll her son in school due to hair policy at East Bernard ISD www.youtube.com