Hair incident a human rights issue at schools

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says the hair issue at Windsor House Academy is a human rights issue and the department takes allegations of racism very seriously.

On Tuesday, the MEC said he felt it necessary to visit the school, which is located in Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni.

The MEC had received numerous complaints from parents and school learners regarding unfair application of the school code of conduct relating to hair.

MEC Lesufi met with the school management and the learners.

“Learners were given an opportunity to raise their concerns, which include that their hair was referred to as ‘unruly hair’ in relation to afro hair styles. No braids are allowed and only two [rows of plaits] are permitted,” the MEC said.

The learners were also worried by the perceived lack of concern by the school for their safety when they were kicked out of the premises.

The school management and the MEC have agreed to suspend the school code of conduct for three months, pending a review.

It is expected that a new code of conduct will be implemented once there has been a consultative process involving parents, learners and educators.

The MEC praised the school for its excellent academic record and encouraged them to focus on the school work while the matter is being addressed.

The department said it will monitor the situation and support the school over the next three months to align its code of conduct with the Constitution, which promotes diversity.

The department said it takes issues of learner wellbeing very seriously and strives to create a conducive learning environment for both learners and educators. - SAnews.gov.za

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