Magnolia ISD school board changes gender-based hair length policy

Magnolia ISD agreed to change its gender-based hair policy at its Dec. 13 board of trustees meeting. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Magnolia ISD agreed to change its gender-based hair policy at its Dec. 13 board of trustees meeting. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Magnolia ISD agreed to change its gender-based hair policy at its Dec. 13 board of trustees meeting. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

The Magnolia ISD school board changed the district’s gender-based hair policy at its meeting Dec. 13. The policy has been the subject of a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, which alleged the former policy violates Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Community Impact Newspaper previously reported.

"Magnolia ISD has updated the dress and grooming code per the settlement agreement terms for male students to no longer have a certain length of hair," Magnolia ISD said in a statement to Community Impact Newspaper on Dec. 14.

The ACLU of Texas filed its lawsuit Oct. 21, and the district agreed to temporarily pause the enforcement of the policy Nov. 4, according to previous reporting. Under the settlement agreement signed by the board Dec. 13, the district will change its policy and expunge the records of those previously punished by the policy, according to a press release from the ACLU of Texas.

“Students and families in Magnolia ISD have fought hard for this victory and can finally celebrate that the district’s dress code will no longer punish students based solely on gender,” ACLU of Texas staff attorney Brian Klosterboer said in the release. “Dress codes that discriminate against students have no place in our public schools and plainly violate the U.S. Constitution and federal law.”

Danielle Miller, the mother of a nonbinary fifth-grade student in the district who faced disciplinary actions from the policy, said in the release she is relieved the board changed the policy.


"I told my child that I would not stop fighting for their right to fully be themselves at school,” Miller said in the release. “We hope [the] result will be a sign to other school districts in Texas that changing discriminatory policies like these is the right thing to do.”
By Chandler France

Reporter, Tomball/Magnolia

Chandler joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in June 2021 after graduating with a degree in journalism from the University of Southern California, where he was the executive editor of Annenberg Media. He previously interned with the company in Gilbert, AZ and with the Beacon Project, an investigative reporting team in Los Angeles. Chandler is originally from Laguna Hills, CA.