Teen Boy Suspended & Sent To Alternative School For Refusing To Cut His Hair

"Why do they hate us so much? Our skin is our sin."

black student with dreads studying at table with laptop fizkes / Shutterstock

A Black high school student from Texas faced serious repercussions from the administration after refusing to change his hairstyle.

Darryl George, an 18-year-old junior at Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, Texas, was barred from his school campus over a disagreement regarding a request to adhere to the school's policy about the proper hairstyles for the young boys at the high school.

The teenager was suspended and sent to an alternative school after refusing to cut his locs.

In August 2023, George, then 17, was sentenced to in-school suspension at his Houston-area high school after school officials claimed that his locs fell below his eyebrows and ear lobes, therefore violating the school's dress code policy. However, despite serving more than a month of in-school suspension, George was told he would be removed from his high school and sent to a disciplinary alternative education program.


According to the Associated Press, the principal of the high school, Lance Murphy, claimed that George has repeatedly violated the district’s “previously communicated standards of student conduct."

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In a letter provided to the news outlet, Murphy revealed that George would be allowed to return to regular classroom instruction on November 30, but would not be allowed to return to his high school’s campus until then unless he’s there to discuss his behavior with administrators.

For the Barbers Hill Independent School District, male students are prohibited from having hair extending below the eyebrows, ear lobes, or on top of a T-shirt collar. Hair on all students must be clean, well-groomed, geometrical, and not an unnatural color or variation. 

In response to the school's decision, George's mother, Darresha, and the family's attorney denied that the teen's hairstyle violated the school's dress code

George's family previously filed a lawsuit to fight the decision of his suspension and the requirement for him to cut his hair.

According to CNN, the family filed a formal complaint with the Texas Education Agency and a federal civil rights lawsuit against the state's governor and attorney general, alleging they failed to enforce a new law outlawing discrimination based on hairstyles.


RELATED: High School Principal Creates New Dress Code Regulations For Both Students And 'Lazy' Parents That Ban Bonnets & Hair Rollers

George's family argued that the suspension was in violation of the state's CROWN Act, which stands for “Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair,” and provides protections against race-based hair bias, prohibiting discrimination based on hair texture and protective styles including braids, twists, and locs. 

They also acknowledged that George's hair has symbolic meaning as it is woven with strands from his grandfather and father and they do not intend to cut them off. 

Candice Matthews, a civil rights activist and spokeswoman for the George family, told NPR that Geroge feels scared as he stands in front of the building for the alternative school. "Why do they hate us so much? Our skin is our sin," Matthews demanded.


Hair discrimination faced by Black people, especially Black children and teens, has deep and serious implications that go just beyond not being allowed to wear certain hairstyles. It sends a powerful yet extremely harmful message that Black identities are to be controlled, confined, and even changed altogether just to fit into preconceived notions of what is deemed acceptable and appropriate.

Black hair, in all of its beauty, is more than suitable, and it's time we stop disguising school and work dress codes as anything other than an excuse to discriminate against a certain group of people. Diversity should always be celebrated instead of stifled.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.