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Houston students who oppose the long hair ban can return to class


“Federal Judge Says Houston Students Who Resist the Long Hair Dress Code Can Return to Class,” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, bipartisan media organization that educates Texans about public order, politics, and government – and interacted with them and nationwide issues.

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By Allyson Waller & Kailyn Rhone, The Texas Tribune

A federal judge has temporarily ordered that some Magnolia Independent School District students who have been disciplined for violating a dress code ban for boys with long hair can return to class without further consequences.

U.S. District Court Judge Lee H. Rosenthal preliminary ruling comes after the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas sued the Houston area school district last week on behalf of seven students, including six Boys and one non-binary student, ages 7-17. Plaintiffs alleged that because of their long hair, they received severe disciplinary action, including threats or weeks of banning from school. Some students were placed on an alternative disciplinary program outside of school, which resulted in their de-registration from the district.

Rosenthal signed the injunction on Tuesday after making an oral decision at an oral hearing on Monday. Rosenthal wrote in her decision that four of the plaintiffs could return to school without facing disciplinary action over the district’s dress code, and the district will be prevented from enforcing previously imposed sanctions.

The remaining three plaintiffs, all of whom had their hair cut on threat of disciplinary action, were denied temporary relief and one of them was suspended from school. The judge left the door open for these three plaintiffs to seek remedial action in the future “if or when their hair length exceeds the guidelines of the school district and they face disciplinary consequences because of their hair length”.

The preliminary injunction granted this week, which followed the conclusion of a preliminary injunction negotiation, is valid until November 10th.


Provisional Injunction: Magnolia ISD Hair Policy

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The Texas ACLU argued that Magnolia ISD’s dress code policy provided the same level of protection under Aug.

In Tuesday’s order, Rosenthal wrote that the “plaintiffs found a significant likelihood of success” in their reasoning regarding the violation of rights under the 14th Amendment.

“The court also finds that plaintiffs have found that this gender hair policy is essentially in violation of Title IX,” wrote Rosenthal.

Magnolia ISD did not respond to a request for comment on the injunction on Tuesday.

Brian Klosterboer, an attorney for the Texas ACLU, said in a statement the judge’s verdict will allow students to stop conforming to “gender stereotypes.”

“Magnolia ISD still has the chance to abolish this policy and treat students equally,” said Klosterboer. “We hope that other Texas districts with outdated guidelines will quickly fix them and not follow in Magnolia’s footsteps and unconstitutionally punish students based solely on gender and gender stereotypes.”

Danielle Miller’s 11-year-old non-binary child was one of the plaintiffs who were granted injunctions. Miller said in a statement Monday that she was “thrilled” with the judge’s decision.

“No student should be discriminated against based on their gender,” Miller said. “I am inspired by the way our local community rose to fight for our children’s rights. Even so, it’s frustrating that Magnolia is refusing to simply change this out of date policy. I hope [Monday’s] The verdict is a sign that the school district will finally change something. “

This article originally appeared in the Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2021/10/26/texas-long-hair-school-dress-code-lawsuit/.

The Texas Tribune is a member-supported, non-partisan newsroom that educates and engages Texans about state politics and politics. Learn more at texastribune.org.


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