Sikhokele Diniso, a 10th grade student at Siphamandla High School in Khayelitsha, South Africa, was asked to leave because of his dreadlocks. Sikhokele Diniso, who is a Rastafarian, was ordered to stay away from school until he cut his hair, the Equal Education (EE) said on Thursday. That decision has since been reversed, but it just goes to show how ignorant some people in authority can be.
The non-governmental organisation met the principal of Siphamandla High School in Khayelitsha, the school’s governing body (SGB), and staff on Wednesday to discuss the pupil’s grievances, said EE chairwoman Yoliswa Dwane.
“It was agreed that the learner would be allowed back into school and that a catch-up plan would be provided,” said Dwane. He would not have to cut his hair.
The Cape Times reported last week that the Grade 10 pupil Sikhokele Diniso was told to leave the school last month. The education department said at the time Diniso could return to school as he had not been suspended.
Department spokeswoman Bronagh Casey said that according to the school principal, the pupil was asked to bring his parents to discuss the matter.
“The boy returned with his brother. The principal insisted on discussing the matter with the parents. “The parents eventually met the principal and agreed that the son should clean, comb, and tie his hair. The boy did not want to do this,” said Casey. Source
When I was a student in the Jamaican school system, we had to follow a strict code of conduct, including the dress code. If Sikhokele Diniso’s hair was unkempt, the school had a right to address that issue. Being a Rastafarian doesn’t mean one’s hair has to look like a hot mess.