Florida Senate - 2022                                    SB 1608
       By Senator Bracy
       11-00783A-22                                          20221608__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to prohibited discrimination based on
    3         hairstyle; providing a short title; amending s.
    4         1000.05, F.S.; defining the term “protected
    5         hairstyle”; prohibiting discrimination based on
    6         protected hairstyle in the K-20 public education
    7         system; amending s. 1002.20, F.S.; defining the terms
    8         “race” and “protective hairstyles” for purposes of
    9         public K-12 nondiscrimination requirements; amending
   10         s. 1002.421, F.S.; defining the terms “race” and
   11         “protective hairstyles” for purposes of
   12         antidiscrimination requirements for private schools
   13         participating in the state school choice scholarship
   14         program; providing an effective date.
   16         WHEREAS, the history of our nation is riddled with laws and
   17  societal norms that characterized “blackness” and its associated
   18  physical traits as inferior to European physical features, and
   19         WHEREAS, this idea also permeates a societal understanding
   20  of professionalism which was, and still is, closely linked to
   21  European features and mannerisms, which entails that those who
   22  do not naturally conform to Eurocentric norms must alter their
   23  appearance to meet such norms in order to be considered
   24  professional, and
   25         WHEREAS, hair has been, and remains, a rampant source of
   26  racial discrimination that has caused serious economic and
   27  health ramifications, and
   28         WHEREAS, school dress code policies that prohibit natural
   29  hair, including afros, and certain hairstyles, such as braids,
   30  locks, and twists, have a disparate impact on black students, as
   31  these policies are more likely to burden or punish black
   32  students compared to other groups, and
   33         WHEREAS, federal courts accept that Title VII of the Civil
   34  Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on race, and
   35  therefore protects against discrimination against the natural
   36  presentation of black hair, including afros, braids, locks, and
   37  twists, NOW, THEREFORE,
   39  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   41         Section 1. This act may be cited as the “Creating a
   42  Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair Act” or “CROWN Act.”
   43         Section 2. Subsection (2) of section 1000.05, Florida
   44  Statutes, is amended to read:
   45         1000.05 Discrimination against students and employees in
   46  the Florida K-20 public education system prohibited; equality of
   47  access required.—
   48         (2)(a) As used in this section, the term “protected
   49  hairstyle” means hair characteristics historically associated
   50  with race, such as hair texture and styles, including, but not
   51  limited to, afros, braids, locks, or twists.
   52         (b) Discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity,
   53  national origin, gender, disability, religion, or marital status
   54  against a student or an employee in the state system of public
   55  K-20 education is prohibited. No person in this state shall, on
   56  the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender,
   57  disability, religion, or marital status, be excluded from
   58  participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to
   59  discrimination under any public K-20 education program or
   60  activity, or in any employment conditions or practices,
   61  conducted by a public educational institution that receives or
   62  benefits from federal or state financial assistance.
   63  Additionally, discrimination on the basis of a protected
   64  hairstyle against a student in the state system of public K-20
   65  education is prohibited. A student may not be excluded from
   66  participation in, or be denied the benefits of, or be subjected
   67  to discrimination under any public K-20 education program or
   68  activity on the basis of a protected hairstyle.
   69         (c)(b) The criteria for admission to a program or course
   70  shall not have the effect of restricting access by students
   71  persons of a particular race, ethnicity, national origin,
   72  gender, disability, religion, or marital status, or with a
   73  protected hairstyle.
   74         (d)(c) All public K-20 education classes shall be available
   75  to all students without regard to race, ethnicity, protected
   76  hairstyle, national origin, gender, disability, religion, or
   77  marital status; however, this is not intended to eliminate the
   78  provision of programs designed to meet the needs of students
   79  with limited proficiency in English, gifted students, or
   80  students with disabilities or programs tailored to students with
   81  specialized talents or skills.
   82         (e)(d) Students may be separated by gender for a single
   83  gender program as provided under s. 1002.311, for any portion of
   84  a class that deals with human reproduction, or during
   85  participation in bodily contact sports. For the purpose of this
   86  section, bodily contact sports include wrestling, boxing, rugby,
   87  ice hockey, football, basketball, and other sports in which the
   88  purpose or major activity involves bodily contact.
   89         (f)(e) Guidance services, counseling services, and
   90  financial assistance services in the state public K-20 education
   91  system shall be available to students equally. Guidance and
   92  counseling services, materials, and promotional events shall
   93  stress access to academic and career opportunities for students
   94  without regard to race, ethnicity, protected hairstyle, national
   95  origin, gender, disability, religion, or marital status.
   96         Section 3. Subsection (7) of section 1002.20, Florida
   97  Statutes, is amended to read:
   98         1002.20 K-12 student and parent rights.—Parents of public
   99  school students must receive accurate and timely information
  100  regarding their child’s academic progress and must be informed
  101  of ways they can help their child to succeed in school. K-12
  102  students and their parents are afforded numerous statutory
  103  rights including, but not limited to, the following:
  104         (7) NONDISCRIMINATION.—All education programs, activities,
  105  and opportunities offered by public educational institutions
  106  must be made available without discrimination on the basis of
  107  race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, disability, religion,
  108  or marital status, in accordance with the provisions of s.
  109  1000.05. For purposes of this subsection, the term “race” is
  110  inclusive of traits historically associated with race,
  111  including, but not limited to, hair texture, hair type, and
  112  protective hairstyles. The term “protective hairstyles”
  113  includes, but is not limited to, braids, locks, or twists.
  114         Section 4. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
  115  1002.421, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  116         1002.421 State school choice scholarship program
  117  accountability and oversight.—
  119  school participating in an educational scholarship program
  120  established pursuant to this chapter must be a private school as
  121  defined in s. 1002.01(2) in this state, be registered, and be in
  122  compliance with all requirements of this section in addition to
  123  private school requirements outlined in s. 1002.42, specific
  124  requirements identified within respective scholarship program
  125  laws, and other provisions of Florida law that apply to private
  126  schools, and must:
  127         (a) Comply with the antidiscrimination provisions of 42
  128  U.S.C. s. 2000d. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “race”
  129  as used in 42 U.S.C. s. 2000d is inclusive of traits
  130  historically associated with race, including, but not limited
  131  to, hair texture, hair type, and protective hairstyles. The term
  132  “protective hairstyles” includes, but is not limited to, braids,
  133  locks, or twists.
  135  The department shall suspend the payment of funds to a private
  136  school that knowingly fails to comply with this subsection, and
  137  shall prohibit the school from enrolling new scholarship
  138  students, for 1 fiscal year and until the school complies. If a
  139  private school fails to meet the requirements of this subsection
  140  or has consecutive years of material exceptions listed in the
  141  report required under paragraph (q), the commissioner may
  142  determine that the private school is ineligible to participate
  143  in a scholarship program.
  144         Section 5. This act shall take effect July 1, 2022.