CROWN Act: Where national efforts for legislation stand

FILE-Maryland Delegate Jheanelle Wilkins, district 20, speaks at a press conference at the Maryland House Office Building in Annapolis, Maryland, March 6, 2020, in advance of a legislative hearing scheduled popularly known as the CROWN Act. (Photo by

The CROWN Act is at the center of a trial Thursday as a judge determines if a Texas school district’s dress code limiting the length of a Black high school student’s hair violates the law. 

Darryl George, who wears his hair in locs tied atop his head, was suspended for 13 days because his hair was out of compliance when let down per a disciplinary notice from George's school, Barbara Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, Texas.

RELATED: Trial to determine if Texas school’s punishment of a Black student over his hair violates new law

George’s case renews an ongoing debate about nationwide school policies for hairstyles as part of their dress codes, and the effect this has on some students who feel the rule tries to deny their cultural and religious identities.

Through the years, multiple states have passed similar legislation related to the CROWN Act, and here’s where it stands. 

What is the CROWN Act?

The CROWN Act, which stands for "Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, prohibits race-based hair discrimination and bars employers and schools from penalizing people because of hair texture or protective hairstyles, including Afros, braids, locs, twists or Bantu knots, according to the Crown Coalition website. 

RELATED: Texas high school sends Black student back to in-school suspension over his locs hairstyle

What states have passed the CROWN Act?

Since California passed the CROWN Act in 2019, 22 other states have passed the CROWN Act or a comparable law as of July 2023.

These states are Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington.  

Per the Anti-Defamation League, the CROWN Act has also been filed or pre-filed in other states too.

At the federal level, the CROWN Act was passed in the House of Representatives on March 18, 2022. Months later, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) made a case to pass the CROWN Act on Dec. 14, 2022, but the law didn’t pass in the U.S. Senate.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.  This story was reported from Washington, D.C.