MoCo passes CROWN Act to fight against hair discrimination
February 26, 2020
As of November, Montgomery County has become the first municipality in the country to pass the CROWN Act, which prohibits hairstyle discrimination in employment, housing, taxi service and other public accommodations. A person who is discriminated against can seek a civil penalty of up to $5,000 through the county’s Office of Human Rights.
The bill, entitled “Creating a Respectful World for Open Hair,” or CROWN, was first passed in California and New York in July. Similar legislation has since been introduced in other states.
Many students, such as sophomore Madeline Lawrence, have expressed their support for the CROWN act.
“If people’s hair…is not hurting anyone, then I don’t think there’s any reason it should have been banned in the first place from any schools,” Lawrence said. “I do support the CROWN act because it’s giving people their rights back to wear their hair how they want to.”
Math teacher Laura Goetz also supports the CROWN Act and believes that hair discrimination certainly exists. “I can imagine that there would be instances where somebody might you know might say, ‘This certain hairstyle means this certain behavior,’” Mrs. Goetz said.
“I am saddened that there needs to be a law to make sure that [discrmination] doesn’t happen, but I am proud of our county for being the one to take the lead on that saying it will not be a problem here,” Mrs. Goetz added.