Beckley HRC makes it clear to school board that city ordinance protects against hair discrimination

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – The CROWN Act, a measure that was brought up this year in the state’s legislative session, would have outlawed discrimination based on hairstyle or texture. 

The House chose to not take it up, and those on the Beckley Human Rights Commission began looking at the law to see what could be done locally after the act was inspired by a Woodrow Wilson basketball player benched over his dreadlocks.

In looking at the matter, local attorney and commission member Robert Dunlap realized that the city’s non-discrimination ordinance protects against racial discrimination which includes discrimination based on hair. 

Human Rights Commission Chair Danielle Stewart said Dunalp sent a letter over to Raleigh County Schools to explain their stance.

“It’s just one of those things that a lot of us don’t necessarily think about until an incident happens and then all of a sudden it’s eye-opening,” she said. “Why is this still here? Why is this being enforced?” 

Stewart said that they were pleased with the school board’s response and that it has been “taken care of.”

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Anna Saunders
Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.