Learners at Masibambane High School in Bloekombos, Cape Town took to the streets on Tuesday to protest against the school's policy on hair and uniform.
The learners are demanding that the school allow hair extensions and skinny pants as part of their uniforms.
CapeTalk's Pippa Hudson spoke to the headmaster of Masibambane High School, Rajan Naidoo about the incident.
Naidoo confirms that the school doesn't allow its learners to wear hair extensions, saying the school's dress code should not have room for discrimination on the basis of wealth.
We need to decolonise our thinking. This thing of thinking long straight hair and being light skinned equals beautiful, and dark skin and curly hair equals ugly ... we need to embrace our Africanness.— Rajan Naidoo, headmaster of Masibambane High School
Your dressing influences you subconsciously... You come to school to study, which is a priority.— Rajan Naidoo, headmaster of Masibambane High School
When learners have these extensions and they are tapping their heads and picking it with a pen because it is itchy, it's destructive. They can't concentrate in class...— Rajan Naidoo, headmaster of Masibambane High School
Naidoo says over 300 parents attended the meeting held on Wednesday and the majority were passionately against what the learners are demanding. He says by the show of hands, only 10 out of 300 supported the learners.
Parents are saying they can't afford extensions and skinny pants, says Naidoo. The school is situated in an impoverished community of domestic workers and farm workers, he says.
For the learners, this is some kind of entitlement. There is no real reason other than wanting to look good. My argument is that you do look good and smart the way you are.— Rajan Naidoo, headmaster of Masibambane High School
To hear the rest of the interview, listen below: