TROY, TX — Eleven-year-old Maddox Cozart is back in the classroom at Troy ISD after more than two weeks of in-school suspension for his hairstyle. However, he’s not back because of a change to the dress code.
“He still has a braid but he slept on it so it’s down instead of up and now they’re saying that’s appropriate,” said Hope Cozart, Maddox’s mother.
Hope says she’ll have to re-braid his hair again soon and can’t guarantee his hairstyle will come out the same way.
She and her husband, Dante, say they’ve tried to work with district officials to handle Maddox’s situation and permanently change the dress code so that it's inclusive for all hairstyles, but little progress has been made.
“We keep meeting with people who aren’t the ones pulling my son out of class,” said Dante.
“We’ve gotten a lot of excuses but no real solutions. Like ‘We’re gonna working on it but,' and, 'It’s gonna be voted on, but now we’re gonna change it,'” said Hope.
Now, Maddox's father isn’t allowed to come on the school’s premises. The veteran says it’s just not fair.
“I’m allowed to go fight for and die for my country, but if I stand up and fight for my son, it’s a problem,” said Dante.
The Native and African American student, along with his family, will testify at the State Capitol this week in favor of the Crown Act, which would ban hair discrimination on a state level.
Under the bill, Maddox and all children would be able to wear their hair the way they see fit.
25 News reached out to Troy ISD officials for comment but have not heard back.
Last year, ACLU Texas sent letters hundreds of Texas school districts asking them to re-examine dress and grooming policies that are unconstitutional and discriminatory. Troy ISD was among the list of school districts.
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