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June 3, 2024

Atlanta Board of Education to vote on dress code changes that includes language from the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act

ATLANTA—The ACLU of Georgia will provide public comment at 6 p.m. today to the Atlanta Public School Board before it votes on dress code policy changes to include details from the CROWN (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) Act. The Act aims to end hair discrimination, which disproportionately affects Black students because of hairstyles and hair texture. 

“Race-based hair discrimination has no basis on academic performance yet can often lead to disciplinary action that removes students from the classroom for days at a time. A student's education should not be interrupted because someone disagrees with their natural features or how they style their hair. This is subjective and has no bearing on students' ability to learn," said Christopher Bruce, Policy Director, ACLU of Georgia.

Federal legislation for the CROWN Act was introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives last month. The act is enacted locally in Gwinnett and Clayton counties and the cities of East Point, South Fulton, and Stockbridge.

"Georgia is long overdue in passing the CROWN Act. Hair discrimination in our era is outdated, and we must move forward to redefine what is acceptable and professional,” said Rep. Nikki Merritt, District 9. “It's time to end the discriminatory notion that natural hair is inferior and undesirable, forcing individuals to change a part of their body simply to be employed.”