CROWN bill banning hair discrimination advances in Missouri

State house lawmakers on Monday approved a measure that would ban hair texture-based discrimination against students throughout the state.

Missouri state house lawmakers on Monday voted in favor of a measure that would ban hair texture-based discrimination against students throughout the state.

The so-called Missouri CROWN Act (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) was sponsored by State House Rep. Shamed Dogan, a Democrat.

Black hair
(Credit: Adobe Stock)

The text of the proposed law, obtained and reviewed by theGrio, would bar non-religious educational institutions in Missouri from discriminating against students who wear protective hairstyle, such as braids and locks.

Dogan applauded the measure’s advancement on Monday and thanked fellow Missouri State Rep. Raychel Crystal Proudie, also a Democrat, for championing the cause.

“Good way to end Black History Month!” Dogan wrote on Facebook.

The Missouri CROWN Act would apply to schools, colleges and universities that receive state financial assistance or enroll students who get state financial aid for their education.

A total of at least 10 states have enacted CROWN laws limiting natural hair discrimination, according to the Crown Coalition, a group of organizations working to pass anti-discrimination legislation throughout the country.

Black hair
(Credit: Adobe Stock)

California became the first state to adopt a CROWN law in 2019 followed by New York, New Jersey, Virginia and Colorado.

Washington, Maryland, Connecticut, New Mexico, Delaware, Nebraska and Illinois have also passed similar laws.

Incidents of race-based hair discrimination have made national headlines across the country in recent years. Earlier this year, two Speer Academy school workers in Chicago were placed on administrative leave after allegedly cutting eight inches of sophomore IsaMara Padilla‘s hair at the order of an ROTC sergeant, according to Fox 32 Chicago.

A CROWN 2021 research study conducted last summer found 66% of surveyed Black girls who attended majority-white schools experienced hair discrimination.

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