Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Handcuffed hairbraider sues in federal court for right to teach

What is Gov. Rick Perry going to do about this??

Isis Brantley is a widely recognized expert on African hairbraiding who wants to teach people to braid hair for a living in Dallas. But even with her decades of experience, Texas is telling Isis she must now convert her modest hairbraiding school into a large barber college, and become a state-licensed barber instructor, before she can teach the next generation of African hairbraiders.

When the state of Texas began regulating hairbraiders in 2007, it wedged Texas's hairbraiding license into the state's barbering statute. This means that Isis must spend 2,250 hours in barber school, pass four exams, and spend thousands of dollars on tuition and a fully-equipped barber college she doesn't need, all to teach a 35-hour hairbraiding curriculum. Tellingly, Texas will waive all these regulations if Isis goes to work for an existing barber school and teaches hairbraiding for them.

But braiders aren't barbers, and braiding instructors shouldn't be forced to build barber schools or take classes from barbers.