On Monday, August 29th, Pretoria Girls High students express their anger towards their schools discrimination towards black students. It is reported that officials are telling black students with kinky hair to relax and straighten their hair or else receive punishment. This unfair discrimination and punishment that the black students have been receiving has sparked a protest to bring awareness to this issue in hopes of bringing it to an end.
School officials are trying to use the argument that this policy is in the general appearance portion of the school’s code of conduct handbook. Further investigation shows that it doesn’t necessarily state that their hair has to be “relaxed and straighten.” Due to the results of several school officials trying to establish a rule that isn’t there has lead to several students receiving punishment based on their appearances. These punishments including detention, suspension, and even teachers taking matters into their own hands by cutting off braids from students in front of everyone in the class.
The protest that the Pretoria Girls High students are holding has caught the attention of Panyaza Lesufi, the head of education for the Gauteng province in South Africa. Luckily, he is behind the protest and is looking to change the policies for Pretoria Girls High. Unfortunately, this protest has also caught the attention of local police and school security who decided to equip themselves with weapons and attack dogs to “keep things civilized.”
I thought students went to school to learn, not to enter a beauty pageant. How about focusing on the children’s education as oppose to their hairstyle instead. That’s the main reason they’re there in the first place so I don’t understand why criticize them on their appearance. I understand that students have to up hold a certain appearance since it’s a reflection of the school’s appearance and policies and whatnot. When it comes down to officials making up their own rules to decide what is acceptable is where it becomes a problem.
The real issue here is once again a black person’s appearance is looked at as unacceptable to societies standards and we are being forced to change that if we want to live up to those standards. There’s no good reason to have weapons and attack dogs on stand by for a protest ran by children. That’s just a waste of resources if you ask me. When will people realize that even though we were all born with different features we’re still one and the same? The sooner that realization comes to the majority we’ll just have to keep these type of protests going until some real change to the world occurs.