Texas CROWN Act legislation moves forward at Capitol

It’s more than just a look. Hairstyles can be cultural expressions, especially for African Americans. 

HB 567 would protect that expression. It’s known as the CROWN Act; an acronym from the phrase "Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair." State Rep. Rhetta Bowers (D-District 113) filed the bill.

"It is self-expression, and it literally will keep students in the classroom," Rep. Bowers said. "Some students are pulled out. Some students are held from graduation. So people, they will be able to live quality, great quality of life."

An incident near Houston in 2020 contributed in making hairstyles a national issue. A student was told by school administrators to cut his hair, or he would not be able to attend prom or his graduation ceremony. The city of Austin passed a CROWN Act ordinance in 2022

In February, FOX 7 spoke to members of a group advocating for a Pflugerville ordinance.

"Back in 2014 I had an experience where I was not able to show up at work in a certain way with my hair in braids," said Meme Styles. 

Angel Carroll told FOX 7 she had a similar situation in the eighth grade.

"I was forced to cut off my braids for school," Carroll said in the news report. "They were seen as distracting and that experience has stayed with me even into adulthood."

The debate under the Capitol dome is making progress. Monday, HB 567 cleared the House State Affairs committee on a 10 to 1 vote. Rep. Bowers believes she can win on the House floor and send HB 567 to the Senate.


"And it is just necessary for men, women and children to just feel accepted the way their hair grows naturally out of their heads," said Rep. Bowers.

Time ran out on the Bill during the last Session in 2021. Rep. Bowers believes this Session the issues can provide a bipartisan moment.

"Texas has the chance to show that we can work together," Rep. Bowers said. "This is bipartisan. We have bipartisan support right now. 20 states have already passed it. Texas has the chance to be the 21st and say, yes, we can come together to really protect the civil rights of Texans."

A debate on the House floor may not happen until around the middle of April.