Lawmaker prefiles bill to ban hair discrimination | KOB 4

Lawmaker prefiles bill to ban hair discrimination

Joy Wang
Updated: January 08, 2021 07:09 PM
Created: January 08, 2021 05:36 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- A bill has been filed ahead of the 2021 legislative session that will ban hair and headdress discrimination.

"Grown men and women in the workplace have been hurt because of their hairstyle," said Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton. "And you know it's a cultural thing. It's a heritage thing to be proud of your own hair, and the quality of your hair, and to express that. And most often, our young adults can't because somebody doesn't like their braids, because somebody doesn't like their locks. And so this piece of legislation was put in place and you cannot discriminate against an individual in school or at the workplace, because of the cultural hairstyle."

Two years ago, a teacher was fired from Cibola High School after students claimed she cut off three inches of hair on a Native American student.

"I know, as an educator, across this city, and across the state, when I first started to talk about this piece of legislation, I received emails, I received, I received phone calls from others," Williams Stapleton said. "Basically, discussing the fact of what has happened to their own children in school or in the workplace."

Williams Stapleton hopes the legislation will help students and adults feel confident and secure about their hairstyle.

"I do hope that my colleagues in the House and Senate will pass this piece of legislation and show to the State of New Mexico that we are diverse and we're knowledgeable about being particular importance of someone else culture and heritage," she said.

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