Black Texas Student Who Served Suspensions Over His Locs Is Suspended Again by School

Darryl George had been placed in a disciplinary alternative education program due to violating his school's dress code policy before he resumed classes Tuesday

<p>AP Photo/Michael Wyke</p> Darryl George

AP Photo/Michael Wyke

Darryl George

A Black student who has been suspended multiple times from his Texas high school over his locs has been suspended again, according to multiple reports. 

Darryl George, 18, a student at Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, was in class Tuesday when he was told he violated the school dress code policy for not cutting his hair and was again referred to in-school suspension,” Dr. Candice Matthews, a spokesperson for the George family, told PEOPLE in a statement.

In a copy of a referral notice shared with PEOPLE, the school wrote: “Darryl’s hair is out of compliance with the BH dress code when let down. If Darryl corrects his dress code violation he will be allowed to return to his regular classes.” The notice added that Darryl will be serving his in-school suspension for 13 days.

Darresha George, Darry's mom, told the Associated Press that the family is now "just trying to take it day by day."

"That’s all we can do," she added. "We do not see the light at the end of the tunnel. But we are not giving up.”

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In August, his family said Darryl was placed on in-school suspension because his twisted locs violated the school district’s dress and grooming code, per the AP. He was then suspended again in September for having the same hairstyle when he arrived at school.

That month, the family filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton, the AP and CNN reported. The suit alleged that Darryl's suspension violates Texas' CROWN Act, which prohibits natural hair discrimination at work and schools and in housing policies. 

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The lawsuit accused Abbott and Paxton of failing to protect Darryl's constitutional rights regarding discrimination as well as freedom of speech.

Allie Booker, the family's attorney, alleged in the lawsuit that the teen “should be permitted to wear his hair in the manner in which he wears it ... because the so-called neutral grooming policy has no close association with learning or safety and when applied, disproportionately impacts Black males."

“We are going to move to have the CROWN Act declared unconstitutional due to the manipulation of verbiage by the school,” Booker said in a statement to PEOPLE on Wednesday.

In October, Darryl was transferred to a disciplinary alternative education program over alleged violations of the school district’s policies, a school official said in a letter sent to his family.

In the letter, which was previously obtained by PEOPLE, Barbers Hill High School Principal Lance Murphy wrote that the 18-year-old's expulsion was due to infractions such as disruption in class, failure to follow school staff rules, and violating the school's dress and grooming guidelines. Darryl’s stay in the EPIC program was scheduled to last through Nov. 29.

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In September, David Bloom of the Barbers Hill Independent School District said in a statement to PEOPLE that Texas’ recent law “prohibits a dress or grooming policy that discriminates against ‘protective hairstyles.’"

“Protective hairstyles,” are defined by the Act as braids, locks and twists,” Bloom added. “The Barbers Hill ISD Dress and Grooming Code permits protective hairstyles, but any hairstyle must be in conformity with the requirement that male students’ hair will not extend, at any time, below the eyebrows or below the ear lobes.

“Further, male students’ hair must not extend below the top of a t-shirt collar or be gathered or worn in a style that would allow the hair to extend below the top of a t-shirt collar, below the eyebrows, or below the ear lobes when let down," the statement continued. "Accordingly, protective hairstyles are permitted, but must still comply with the Dress and Grooming Code.”

Darresha George told CNN on Tuesday that Darryl’s suspensions were "frustrating" and "ridiculous," expressing concern that the school's actions are affecting his learning. “We’re trying to hang in there, get through the motions,” she said. “We’re not going to back down. I don’t care what tactics they try. We’re not backing down.”

Bloom did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's requests for comment. 

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