Delaware State Senate considers hairstyle anti-discrimination legislation

DOVER, Del. – The first state is taking steps toward making specific protections against discrimination based off of hairstyles. Senate Bill 32, or the CROWN Act, was heard in the state’s Judiciary Committee today.

Delaware already has protections against racial discrimination. But there is no specific laws on discrimination when it comes to natural or protective hairstyles for people of color. Committee Chair and State Senator Darius Brown says if this legislation is passed it would be far reaching, and could protect many Delawareans. “Black girls have been subjected to bullying, harassment, and expulsion because of their hair. Black men and boys and people of Jewish, LatinX, and Native American descent have experienced similar struggles. The CROWN Act will prohibit this kind of racial discrimination,” said State Sen. Brown.

Other members of the committee stood in support of the bill. But, some did raise questions about if it should protect only people of color, or if it should include discrimination against hairstyles for white people as well. “If we’re looking for equality, it should be across the board I think, instead of pointing out just one group that thinks they’re discriminated against because of their hair. I think that’s a problem. I think the bill should be expanded,” said State Senator Dave Lawson.

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