SANTA FE, NM (STL.News) Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Monday signed into law measures that prohibit discrimination, discipline or disparate treatment of New Mexico students based on their hair style or cultural or religious headdress.
Companion bills House Bill 29 and Senate Bill 80 – sponsored by House Majority Floor Leader Sheryl Williams Stapleton, Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero, Sen. Harold Pope, Jr., Sen. Linda Lopez, Sen. Benny Shendo, Sen. Shannon Pinto and Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez – add a new section to the Public School Code and Charter School Act preventing school districts and charters from discriminating against any student based on their race or culture with respect to their hairstyle or headdress.
At least seven other states have passed similar anti-discrimination legislation, sometimes referred to as being inspired by the Crown Act.
The governor signed the two identical bills, each of which passed both legislative chambers unanimously.
“This bill is a product of the leadership of Rep. Stapleton, Sen. Pope and others who recognize not only that our multicultural diversity is our strength but that we must actively fight for justice,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “I’m proud to enact this law and humbled to call these justice-minded legislative leaders my colleagues.”
“Workplace biases and corporate grooming policies unfairly impact Black women and people of color, not only is this a discrimination issue but an equity issue as it has a social and economic cost,” said Sen.