Bi-Racial Parents Sued This Texas School Over Their Son’s Braided Hair

As a society, I feel like we’re moving toward acceptance of different cultures, and generally allowing people to dress and be the way that they feel most comfortable, as long as it doesn’t affect the rest of us.

Some parts of the world, though, are stubbornly holding onto their antiquated and harmful ways of policing everyone who isn’t like them.

In Texas, 11-year-old Malcolm Cozart found himself at the center of a controversy when an outdated rule in a long-ago written student guidebook stated his natural hair wasn’t allowed in school.

The boy had asked his mother about part of his history and culture, and wondered what sort of tribal practices would have been common, according to his mother Hope.

“We try to teach our kids about all of their culture. Black, White, Native-American, everything. They like to explore their culture. We looked at African Tribes and how they braid their hair up. Bantu knots and all the meanings of all that.”

When Malcolm returned to school with his traditional braids, however, he was removed from the classroom and given a 9-day in-school suspension. He was not taught, given assignments, or interacted with in any way, according to him and his mother.

Hope Cozart called out the Troy Independent School District and their outdated dress code policies, then decided to take legal action to encourage them to return her son to his regular studies – with his braid.


The family retained an attorney, Waukeen McCoy, who issued a statement:

“I think that their dress code policies are outdated. There’s a lot of Texas independent school districts that have outdated policies which prevent male students from having ponytails, pigtails, buns. It has no legitimate basis at all. It has nothing to do with educating the students. Clearly, to me, it’s discriminatory to his race and his culture.”

No ruling has been made, but most people are feeling sympathetic toward Malcolm and his family.


We all hope that things change everywhere in the near future.


What would you have done if this was your child? How should we change things for the better?

Let’s keep the discussion going in the comments.