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  • Writer's pictureVolume 82 Magazine

Hair Policies Force Some Students & Workers To Do Away with Their Natural Hairstyles

After O'Gorman Catholic School in South Dakota told 14-year-old Braxton Schager that he could not grow his dreadlocks past his collar, he opted to leave the school instead of cutting his hair. (The photo above shows the back of Braxton's hair)

School leaders explained to his parents that their policy restricts boys from having hair that reaches past a shirt collar. In an attempt to work through the issue with the school, the building advised that they can't change the policy until 2023. According to Daily Mail, Braxton's parents, Toni and Derrick, explained to the school that his hair is "a crown of strength, power and spirituality," which are things they don't want to be interrupted. (Braxton is pictured below with his parents Derrick and Toni)

However, Chastity Jones of Alabama recently lost an appeal against the company, Catastrophe Management Systems, for hiring her with the stipulation that she cut her dreadlocks. A federal court ruled that the company's unwillingness to hire her with dreads did not stem from racial discrimination but related to the employer's dress code policy.

The above stories are constant examples of how many students and employees are continuously impacted by discriminatory policies that dictate how they can style their natural hair. As a result, California state senator Holly Mitchell helped to create the Crown Act in 2019. The act prohibits discrimination based on natural hairstyles and textures. The Crown Act stands for (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair)

So far, it's a law in 18 states, and in May, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the act, but the Senate has yet to vote on it. If voted in by the Senate, discrimination against natural hair types will be illegal in all 50 states.



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