We don't allow braids at all - Soweto principal

2016-08-29 16:53
Pretoria High School for Girls learners. (News24)

Pretoria High School for Girls learners. (News24)

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'We're tired of being oppressed for our hair' - PGHS student

2016-08-29 16:06

Students at a Pretoria high school have demonstrated over its dress code. WATCH

Johannesburg - Two Soweto high school principals have sided with Pretoria High School for Girls in the debate about black girls’ hair, saying pupils need to abide by a schools' code of conduct.

Meadowlands High School's Ntuli Hlayisani said he did not find any fault with the Pretoria school’s stance, unless parents were not consulted.

“Rights are rights and we need to respect them; they are in the Constitution. But if you take your child to school and they know the rules of the school and halfway through their school years, they now find fault with the school. I am not sure if this is right," Hlayisani told News24.

Another Soweto principal, who wished to remain anonymous, said no braids or dreadlocks were allowed at her high school.

“Does this mean that we are racist? These rules are explained to parents on the first day of school and even when they apply for school. We need to support the rules and make sure kids follow the rules. If it applies to all, then let it be.”

READ: Black schoolgirls forced to straighten hair, say blackness discouraged

Hlayisani said all schools needed to have a debate about a standard code of conduct.

“These are problems that we all have. Maybe it's time we have a debate around that so that schools should know how to ensure they abide by the Constitution and children's rights are respected. It’s time you have a standardised code of conduct.”

Pretoria High School for Girls has been under the spotlight after pupils claimed hairstyles such as braids, afros, and dreadlocks were not allowed.

However, according to the school's code of conduct: "Cornrows, natural dreadlocks and singles/braids (with or without extensions) are allowed, provided they are a maximum of 10mm in diameter. Singles/braids must be the same length and the natural colour of the girl's hair."

Longer braids have to be tied back. No patterned cornrows are allowed.

The Citizen reported that a petition had garnered 4 201 signatures by early Monday morning. In it, the school is accused of forcing black girls to straighten their natural hair and claiming they're “conspiring” when standing in groups.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  johannesburg  |  education  |  racism

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