Texas High School Policy Bans Braided Hair Preventing Student from Attending

Isabella Hewitt, Multimedia Photo Editor

When Cincinnati student Dyree Williams moved to East Benard, Texas, he faced a troubling policy in his new school. The policy banned braided hair or cornrows, troubling Williams. 

Williams’s hair is a large part of his identity, as it connects him to his ancestors while making him feel like himself. 

The school’s handbook has a strict list of rules for boys to follow regarding their hair. The handbook goes on to state that, “this includes but [is] not limited to tall hairstyles, side swept bang styles, and long hair dangling over shaved sides or shaved back of the head. This also includes mullets and mullets in the making. Braided hair or cornrows will not be allowed. No extremes in hairstyles.”

Bullock hoped that once the school met Williams in person, they would exempt him from the policy; however, they just referred to the handbook and denied her request. 

Bullock then filed for a religious exemption on behalf of her son with the district’s superintendent, but it was denied. Bullock now homeschools Williams and his two sisters, as Texas school district rules make transferring to another district difficult.  

On Mar. 18th, the U.S House of Representatives voted 235-189 to pass the CROWN Act. The Act stands for, Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair. The CROWN Act was established in 2019 through the partnership of the Crown Coalition, Dove, and State Senator Holly J. Mitchell of California. 

The bill seeks to ensure protection against discrimination based on race-based hairstyles by extending statutory protection to hair texture and protective styles in the workplace and public schools

The CROWN Act was made specifically for situations similar to Williams, where individuals are facing discrimination due to their hairstyle in professional settings.