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The Magnolia Unbiased Faculty District has suspended enforcement of gender-specific provisions in its costume code coverage for all college students till additional discover amid pending litigation that argues the foundations discriminate in opposition to boys who’ve lengthy hair.
On Thursday, District Decide Lee H. Rosenthal granted a preliminary injunction that expanded aid to all Magnolia ISD college students, together with six boys and one nonbinary scholar who’re represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas in a latest lawsuit in opposition to the Houston-area college district over its gender-based costume code coverage. Rosenthal had granted a previous injunction that provided aid to solely 4 of the seven plaintiffs.
The ACLU of Texas accused the district of violating college students’ equal safety below the 14th Modification in addition to Title IX, a federal legislation that prohibits discrimination on the premise of intercourse in schooling settings.
Rosenthal wrote that the brand new order “requires the District to instantly stop disciplinary penalties ensuing from violation of gender-specific provisions of its costume and grooming code as to any scholar, together with however not restricted to in-school suspension or placement within the self-discipline different schooling program.”
College students who’ve confronted repercussion below these provisions of the costume code “should be permitted to return to, and stay in, college with no additional self-discipline, or different destructive penalties, for sporting lengthy hair or for violating some other gender-specific provision of the costume and grooming coverage.”
Magnolia ISD declined to touch upon the ruling.
According to the district’s 2021-2022 student handbook, male college students’ hair should not be longer “than the underside of a costume shirt collar [and] backside of the ear.” Boys are additionally not allowed to put on their hair “pinned up in any style” and it could actually’t be worn in a ponytail or a bun.
Within the ACLU of Texas’ lawsuit in opposition to the varsity district, a number of the plaintiffs declare they got in-school suspension due to their hair and finally they have been positioned in an alternate self-discipline program exterior of faculty, forcing some to unenroll from the district altogether. Some additionally claimed that the size of their hair had not been an issue earlier than this college yr.
In a press release, ACLU of Texas lawyer Brian Klosterboer stated college students and households are relieved with Rosenthal’s most up-to-date determination. Final month, Rosenthal wrote that the plaintiffs showcased a “probability of success” of their arguments in opposition to the district’s costume code coverage regarding protections below the 14th Modification and Title IX.
“This difficulty ought to have been swiftly corrected with out the necessity for litigation, and the varsity board ought to finish it by completely altering this outdated and unconstitutional coverage,” Klosterboer stated.