Texas: Due To The Length Of His Hair, A Teen Was Suspended From School And Told He Couldn’t Attend Graduation

At first, Treyvion Gray didn’t know what to make of it since he was heading to gym class in the Needville Independent School District in Fort Bend County when he was accosted.

The assistant principal told him, “Treyvion, your hair is getting too long; you’re going to have to cut it.” And I said, “Why would I have to,” Ma’am? Why am I going to have to cut my hair? There are other kids literally with hair longer than mine, and it’s all past their collar. So why are you talking to me about mine?”

Boys’ hair is not allowed to go beyond their eyebrows or “over the top of a normal collar in the back when combed down” according to the district’s dress code, which was obtained by Insider.

“I was definitely targeted because of my race,” the 18-year-old told Insider. “I did not want to cut my hair because it is a part of my identity. I’ve been growing them for too long [and] it’s how I choose to express myself in my culture.”

As Kyle Ring, the administrator of a prominent hair-themed Instagram account, wrote in Esquire in 2020, “Locs have been worn in cultures extending from Asia and the Middle East to Africa, where they have traditionally denoted power, a spiritual connection or the rejection of conventional ideas.

Early in March, Gray was taken off of the school’s rolls. To get back into the classroom again, he hired an attorney, but he is still pursuing legal action against his institution.

For the first two months of his in-school suspension, the adolescent stated he was secluded from his friends. As a result, he was barred from attending his graduation or other events until he met the school’s regulations.

“I was in a state of deep sadness and depression. Since I’ve been ready to graduate for a long time, I’ve been waiting to go over the stage,” Gray said. Then they informed me that I would not be allowed to walk across the stage. ‘What?’ I was flabbergasted. It came as a surprise.”

Some black students want the Senate to enact the Crown Act, which would prohibit discrimination based on one’s hair texture. Students have been subjected to situations similar to Gray’s in recent months, prompting their demands for action.

When Dyree Williams relocated to East Bernard, Texas, in February, she and her 17-year-old son were told that he couldn’t enroll in school because of his hair, according to reports. Desiree Bullock has been compelled to homeschool her kid because of the school’s clothing policy, she told local media.

Kaden Bradford, a Black adolescent from Mont Belvieu, Texas, was suspended from school because of his long hair, just like Gray. As a result of the district’s tight clothing code, a court ruled that Bradford could not be expelled from school.

The Crown Act, which stands for “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair,” was enacted by the House in March. Hair discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity would be prohibited nationwide if a bill introduced in the Senate is enacted.

Gray is suing Needville ISD, its superintendent, and the board of trustees, claiming he was discriminated against and that the school authorities’ decision has caused him “emotional anguish.”

Non-Black children were not singled out by NISD administrators for surveillance, according to the complaint, which claimed Gray’s locs fell just below the eyebrow. “The District’s continuous surveillance and inspection of Gray alienated him and separated him out from his white peers,” he writes. “

The Needville ISD was contacted by Insider but did not reply.

“Seek some immediate relief to provide Treyvion to guarantee he has equal educational chances since he was not obtaining the same educational possibilities as his classmates in alternate school,” said Melissa Moore, Treyvion’s attorney.

Judges agreed last week that Gray may return to college, but his lawyer said they may have to go back before the courts so that Gray can walk in his graduation ceremony on May 19.

At first Treyvion Gray didn’t know what to make of it since he was heading to gym class in the Needville Independent School District in Fort Bend County when he was accosted.

The assistant principal told him, “Treyvion, your hair is getting too long; you’re going to have to cut it.” ‘And I said, ‘Why would I have to,” Ma’am? Why am I going to have to cut my hair?  There are other kids with hair that is actually longer than mine, and it extends all the way to their collars. You’re talking about mine, so why are you talking to me?”

Boys’ hair is not allowed to go beyond their eyebrows or “over the top of a normal collar in the back when combed down” according to the district’s dress code, which was obtained by Insider.

“I was definitely targeted because of my race,” the 18-year-old told Insider. “I did not want to cut my hair because it is a part of my identity. I’ve been growing them for too long [and] it’s how I choose to express myself in my culture.”

As Kyle Ring, the administrator of a prominent hair-themed Instagram account, wrote in Esquire in 2020, “Locs have been worn in cultures extending from Asia and the Middle East to Africa, where they have traditionally denoted power, a spiritual connection or the rejection of conventional ideas.

Early in March, Gray was taken off of the school’s rolls. To get back into the classroom again, he hired an attorney, but he is still pursuing legal action against his institution.

For the first two months of his in-school suspension, the adolescent stated he was secluded from his friends. As a result, he was barred from attending his graduation or other events until he met the school’s regulations.

“I was in a state of deep sadness and depression. Since I’ve been ready to graduate for a long time, I’ve been waiting to go over the stage,” Gray said. Then they informed me that I would not be allowed to walk across the stage. ‘What?’ I was flabbergasted. It came as a surprise.”

Some black students want the Senate to enact the Crown Act, which would prohibit discrimination based on one’s hair texture. Students have been subjected to situations similar to Gray’s in recent months, prompting their demands for action.

When Dyree Williams relocated to East Bernard, Texas, in February, she and her 17-year-old son were told that he couldn’t enroll in school because of his hair, according to reports. Desiree Bullock has been compelled to homeschool her kid because of the school’s clothing policy, she told local media.

Kaden Bradford, a Black adolescent from Mont Belvieu, Texas, was suspended from school because of his long hair, just like Gray. As a result of the district’s tight clothing code, a court ruled that Bradford could not be expelled from school.

The Crown Act, which stands for “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair,” was enacted by the House in March. Hair discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity would be prohibited nationwide if a bill introduced in the Senate is enacted.

Gray is suing Needville ISD, its superintendent, and the board of trustees, claiming he was discriminated against and that the school authorities’ decision has caused him “emotional anguish.”

Non-Black children were not singled out by NISD administrators for surveillance, according to the complaint, which claimed Gray’s locs fell just below the eyebrow. “The District’s continuous surveillance and inspection of Gray alienated him and separated him out from his white peers,” he writes. “

The Needville ISD was contacted by Insider but did not reply.

“Seek some immediate relief to provide Treyvion to guarantee he has equal educational chances since he was not obtaining the same educational possibilities as his classmates in alternate school,” said Melissa Moore, Treyvion’s attorney.

Judges agreed last week that Gray may return to college, but his lawyer said they may have to go back before the courts so that Gray can walk in his graduation ceremony on May 19.


The following article is paraphrased from the following: A Black Texas teen was suspended from school and told he couldn’t attend graduation due to the length of his hair, Taylor Ardrey, May 11, 2022, https://www.insider.com/black-texas-teen-suspended-from-school-over-hair-length-2022-5?amp

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