HOUSTON — A judge granted a request for a temporary restraining order against enforcement of Magnolia Independent School District’s hair policy that requires boys to maintain short hair. The ruling means that students who have been forced out of their regular in-person classes will be able to return to school without fear of discipline for not following the policy.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, and the law firms of Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing P.C. and Susman Godfrey LLP challenged the policy on behalf of seven students who have faced severe harm from Magnolia ISD’s policy of explicit gender discrimination.
ACLU of Texas attorney Brian Klosterboer issued the following statement on the judge's decision:
“Students and parents in Magnolia ISD can breathe a sigh of relief that the district’s harmful and discriminatory hair policy will stop being enforced against them. Our plaintiffs can now return to school as this unjust policy is paused by the court. The district should never have violated these students’ constitutional rights in the first place or forced them to conform to gender stereotypes.
Magnolia ISD still has a chance to scrap this policy and treat students equally. We hope that other districts in Texas with outdated policies will swiftly fix them and not follow in Magnolia’s footsteps of unconstitutionally punishing students based solely on gender and gender stereotypes.”
Danielle Miller, the mother of an 11-year-old plaintiff, gave the following statement about the temporary restraining order:
"I’m thrilled that my child and so many other students at Magnolia will be able to attend classes, at least for now, without fear of punishment for how they express themselves. No student should be discriminated against based on their gender. I’m inspired by how our local community has risen up to fight for the rights of our kids. Still, it’s frustrating that Magnolia refuses to simply change this outdated policy. I hope today’s ruling is a sign that change will finally come to the school district."