Texas House bill would prevent discrimination against race-based hairstyles

Texas Politics

AUSTIN (KXAN) — There was a push at the Texas Capitol Tuesday to advance legislation involving hairstyles and possible discrimination.

The Texas Crown Act, or HB 392, seeks to prevent discrimination on the basis of hair texture or protective hairstyle associated with race. This includes the denial of employment, educational and housing opportunities because of one’s braids, locs, twists or bantu knots.

A school district near Houston suspended a Black student last year because of his hair.

A member of the Texas State Board of Education was at a news conference Tuesday to show support for the legislation.

“We started this work well over a year ago, because a five-year-old, a kindergartener was placed in ISS, because his hair was long,” said board member Aicha Davis.

“How is that improving outcomes for our students? How is that telling our students we care about their education, we want to make sure that they can do whatever they want to do when they grow up,” she continued.

The bill was authored by State Rep. Rhetta Andrews Bowers, and its Senate companion, SB 77, was authored by State Sen. Borris Miles.

The Crown Act is scheduled for a public hearing Thursday at the State Capitol. Similar legislation has already passed in nine other states.

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