Commissioner Rodney Ellis’s Statement on Barbers Hill High School Punishing Black Student for his Hairstyle

08 Sep, 23

Below is Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis’s statement on Barbers Hill High School placing a Black student in in-school suspension for his hairstyle: 
“I am infuriated to witness the continued discrimination against Black students at nearby Barbers Hill High School. Just seven days after the Texas CROWN Act became the law of the land, Barbers Hill ISD leaders are shamefully persisting in their crusade against students of color. 
This incident is a stark reminder of the deeply ingrained prejudice that pervades our society. When young students are punished for simply expressing their cultural identity through their hair, it sends a chilling message that their heritage is unwelcome and that they do not belong. 
It is incumbent upon all of us to stand united against such acts of injustice.  Here in Harris County, we have recently witnessed the closure of HISD libraries at schools in communities of color. This, along with the movement to ban books and rewrite the history of slavery, shows that there is a coordinated attack on our history, culture, and identity. 
In 2021, I was proud to spearhead the passage of the Harris County CROWN Act policy, the first of its kind in Texas. I was also proud to see the State of Texas adopt the Texas CROWN Act with bipartisan support this session. I urge state leaders to take action and hold Barbers Hill ISD accountable.  We must rectify this situation, respect the rights and identities of students, and put an end to discrimination in public schools once and for all.”