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Palm Beach County schools to ban discrimination against hair styles

Posted at 11:30 AM, Feb 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-06 22:32:42-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Hair is one of the most important ways that students express themselves, and the School District of Palm Beach County is protecting that freedom of expression.

On Wednesday, the school board voted unanimously to ban hair discrimination, meaning students can freely wear their hair any way they want.

That includes locs, mohawks, colored, spiked, shaved, and more, according to board member Dr. Debra Robinson.

Robinson said she was alarmed by a story out of New Jersey in 2018, in which a referee forced a 16-year-old wrestler to cut his locs in order to compete in a match.

"My request is that we look at explicit prohibiting hair discrimination in our policy," said Robinson at Wednesday night's board meeting.

Robinson added she didn't recall and specific cases of hair discrimination in Palm Beach County or Florida.

The school board voted 7-0 to amend the school district's non-discrimination policy, which currently bans discrimination "on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex or sexual orientation, marital status, age, religion, disability, genetic information, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic prohibited by law."


Hair styles will now be added to that non-discrimination policy.

The school district's legal team said it will work on the wording of the policy, and will present the updated policy at a future meeting.