Jeppe Girls' High to review hijab policy - report

2018-10-27 22:18

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Jeppe Girls' High School in Johannesburg, Gauteng is reportedly set to review its hijab policy.

The school made headlines for preventing when it prevented a group of pupils from wearing hijabs with their school uniforms.

This comes after seven Muslim families represented by Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyer threatened to take the Department of Education as well as the school to court for prohibiting learners from wearing their headscarves, the Saturday Star reported.

Disciplinary proceedings against the Muslim pupils were postponed indefinitely after the law firm's intervention.

The law firm's head of pro bono, Jacquie Cassette, told Saturday Star that the Johannesburg school's rules amounted to "othering" and has since written to the school governing body to fully withdraw disciplinary proceedings.

READ: Legal action over hijab on hold, for now - lawyer for 7 Jeppe girls

"All educators, parents and learners will be invited to participate in the consultative process and a task team will be set up. The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) will be involved in reviewing any proposed amended code. They have also supplied a management plan for the process," Cassette told the Saturday Star.

At issue is a complaint from seven Muslim pupils at the school, who say they are being discriminated against in the school's code of conduct, News24 reported

While Muslim pupils are allowed to wear hijab to school, they have a separate school uniform from the one worn by other pupils. 

Muslim girls are allowed to wear a black head scarf and cloak but these do not indicate that they represent the school or allow them to display their achievements in the way that their blazers do.

Disciplinary hearings

The girls want to be able to wear their uniforms, along with head scarves and black pants, for instance, or another combination of the uniform that would allow them to show that they represent the school while wearing hijab.

The school instituted disciplinary action against the girls when they wore their version of the uniform without permission.

However, the disciplinary hearing were put on hold after the department intervened.

Gauteng education department spokesperson Steve Mabona said the department launched an investigation into the issue.

He said the disciplinary hearings have been postponed pending a meeting between the department and the SGB after the school recess.

"We must also emphasise that the SGB and parent body agreed in principle to amend the code of conduct not to be in contravention with the Constitution," he said.

'Procedurally unfair'

Cassette earlier told News24 that a negotiated process was preferable.

"We've tried to make it clear to them in response to the threatened disciplinary hearings that we remain of the view that it would be unlawful to proceed with disciplinary charges."

She said the disciplinary process would be "procedurally unfair" and was based on a clause in the school's code of conduct that "infringes on the right to equality" and did not comply with schools' constitutional obligation to make "reasonable accommodation" for religious and cultural practices.

Cassette said the legal team suggested that the parties meet to try to amicably resolve the matter.

The Gauteng Department of Education could not be reached for comment by Saturday Star. 

ALSO READ: Egypt teacher held for beating student over hijab

Read more on:    education

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Cluster Financial Manager

Cape Town
Network Finance
R950 000.00 - R1 000 000.00 Per Year

IT Manager (contract)

Cape Town CBD
Communicate Cape Town IT
R330 000.00 - R458 000.00 Per Year

Reporting Accountant

Cape Town
Network Finance Professional / Prudential
R310 000.00 - R360 000.00 Per Year

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.