Grade 8 learner of Bulumko Secondary in Khayelitsha excluded over hairstyle

The mother of a Grade 8 leaner at Bulumko Secondary says her son was refused to enroll for 2016 academic year because he had long hair (dreadlocks).

Nonkosi Stofile says she tried to explain to the teacher that he had long hair for religious reasons.

John Maytham spoke to Solminic Joseph, Attorney: Equal Education Law Clinic as well as Paddy Atwell, Head of Communications at Western Cape Education Department.

Listen to the full conversation below:

According to Joseph, the Constitutional Court judgement says the school has the right to set the dress code but there is an obligation on schools to reasonably accommodate learners sincerely on religious and cultural beliefs when implementing these dress codes.

If a learner doesn’t want to subscribe to a particular part of the dress code based on religious or cultural beliefs that learner is entitled to do so

Solminic Joseph, Attorney: Equal Education Law Clinic

According to Atwell, the Department has spoken to the principal who says the boy had reported being bullied by other boys because he is Rastafarian.

The principal was concerned about the boy’s safety on schools premises and discussed the matter with the boy's parents who then agreed he should stay off school for a few days.

He says the boy is currently back in school.


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