New Nebraska law protects public school students’ hair, headdresses

Gov. Jim Pillen signed a hair anti-discrimination bill into law Friday.
Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 12:56 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - A new Nebraska law protects public school students from discrimination due to their natural hair.

Thursday, Gov. Jim Pillen signed LB298, which includes provisions that protect students in Nebraska public schools from discrimination based on natural hair, protective hairstyle, tribal regalia or headdress.

The full law aimed to collect and report information regarding dyslexia and other learning disabilities and to establish dress codes and grooming policies.

According to the ACLU of Nebraska, this new law builds off a 2022 law that protected natural hair in the workplace. After that bill passed, the ACLU and partners released a report that argued for the updating of school dress codes to reflect diverse student populations.

“Our schools should be welcoming environments where all students are respected for who they are,” said Rose Godinez, the Senior Legal & Policy Counsel with the ACLU of Nebraska. “This law will help ensure that students in Nebraska – particularly Indigenous students and students of color – are able to show up at school as their full selves, which includes presenting themselves in a way that honors their culture, traditions and beliefs.”

The law passed in the Nebraska Legislature unanimously.