School Dress Codes Still Disproportionately Affect Black and Gender Non-Conforming Girls


Professor Leah Hill shared her expert opinion with Supermajority on the many zero-tolerance dress codes in schools that disproportionately affect Black and gender non-conforming girls.

Two high school seniors were recently barred from their graduations due to school dress codes, shining light on how these codes disproportionately punish Black girls.

Earlier this month, Kieana Hooper told NBC News that the principal of Gladewater High School in Texas told her daughter — Kienjanae, a student at the school — that she would not be able to receive her diploma or participate in graduation unless she covered her braids. In a letter to the family’s lawyer, school officials said they did not object to Kienjanae’s braids, but the fact that her hair was an unnatural color.

“It is pretty troubling how these local school districts can dole out discipline — and I hesitate to call it discipline — in a way that leads to discrimination, whether it is discrimination based on gender, sexuality or race,” said Hill. “You don’t have to look too hard to see the impact of these codes.”

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