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New Illinois Law Aims To Prevent Hair Discrimination In Schools

FILE - In this file photo taken June 17, 2014, Christine McLean's hair is braided in a Little Rock, Ark., hair braiding shop. An upcoming vote by Arkansas lawmakers could end a federal lawsuit claiming the state unfairly discriminates against African-style hair braiders. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)

A new state law intends to prevent hair discrimination in Illinois schools. Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton says the bill is long overdue.

The legislation was inspired by Jett Hawkins, an African American preschooler from Chicago, who was disciplined because his braids violated his school’s dress code. The law bans schools from restricting hairstyles that have been traditionally associated with race and ethnicity. The measure goes into effect on January 1.

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