Black schoolgirls forced to straighten hair, say blackness discouraged

Pretoria – Pupils at Pretoria High School for Girls claim they have been subjected to racism and that their blackness has been discouraged.

Gauteng MEC Panyaza Lesufi will visit the school on Monday to investigate the racism allegations.

The girls say school rules forbid African hairstyles such as afros, bantu knots, dreadlocks and braids.

The also claim they are not allowed to speak their mother tongue and that a teacher called them monkeys when they were singing and chanting in class.

The Citizen reported that a petition was circulated that had garnered 4 201 signatures by early Monday morning in which the school is accused of forcing black girls to straighten their natural hair and “conspiring” when standing in groups. 

Lesufi told Radio 702 that he had heard the allegation that when pupils spoke Afrikaans, no action was taken against them for that.

Some of the students staged a protest over the weekend, and security personnel threatened to arrest them.

The protest got a lot of support on Twitter, with even Lesufi using social media to express his views on the matter.



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