Readers respond to #RacismAtPretoriaGirlsHigh

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In a recent article on W24 we reported on the controversy at Pretoria High School for Girls. The girls claim that African hairstyles like afros, bantu knots, dreadlocks and braids are forbidden at the school, which naturally led to a series of complaints from students who say this is discrimination.

We asked our readers on our Facebook page how they felt about this and these were some of the responses:

The school rules are racist

"On another Facebook group I belong to, a lovely discussion is taking place about being neat, rules, choosing to go to this school, knowing about codes of conduct, blah blah blah.  Someone even suggested that the size of an afro is restricted so that other kids can see the board. Firstly, that's such nonsense - I'm short so I spent my life being unable to see the board it had nothing to do with hair. 

"Secondly, and most importantly, all the rules around hairstyles and lengths and neatness are centred around European hair. Those who still want to spin this as not racist are blind or obtuse or both."

- Melanie

The girls are overreacting

"This is silly. I attended an IEB school and I had no problem with their hairstyle policy. These girls are overreacting. They should wear their hair according to the policy. I personally don't see this as racist because even white students used to get reprimanded for not wearing their hair neatly."

- Enda

It's all for attention 

"In the media and fashion magazines these girls embrace the smooth, long hairstyles and now suddenly they are offended if that is required of them by their educational institution?"

- Anda

Why are schools concerned about hairstyles anyway?

"In 2016 South African schools are still so concerned about the physical appearance of their students that they are willing to deal with complete disruption of classes. It seems like they have their priorities in the right place...not. Seriously, who cares about hair? That's not why you go to school. As long as students are getting an education, I don't care if they shave their heads bald!"

- Linda

Apartheid hasn't completely ended

"So sad...after all the struggles against apartheid."

-Dedi

Their hair looks great

"Why? For goodness' sake, they look great!"

-Andrea

What are your feelings on this topic? Send us an email with your thoughts.

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