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The latest news from every corner of the state, including policy emerging from Missouri's capitol.

MO House Bill 145 To Protect Cultural Hairstyles Within Dress Codes

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A bill that would impact school dress codes was introduced on Tues. Feb. 23, in the Missouri legislature, over the issue of hairstyles.

In response to reports from around the country that students of color, particularly African American students, have been punished or excluded because cultural hair styles, state Senator Barbara Washington has introduced senate bill 145.

The bill would include cultural hairstyles that protect hair from breakage, such as dreadlocks and braids, within the protections offered under existing discrimination rules. Washington says the bill is important to protecting the well-being of children who wear such hairstyles.

“Our tax dollars should never be used where discrimination lives, and the long-term effects of anyone being discriminated against, especially as a child, last forever and ever", Washington stated.  "It takes a lot of help to get over the fact that you were treated differently as a young person just because of the way you wear your hair.”

Over 20 states have already passed or have proposed similar legislation.