Dreadlocked child thrown out of school


A Bulawayo man yesterday filed a High Court application seeking an order barring Masiyephambili Junior School from stopping his dreadlocked son from attending Grade 0 classes.

Khumbulani Dube who is representing his four-year -old son, Mbalenhle Dube, filed an urgent chamber application yesterday afternoon after the headmaster of the school denied his son access to classes because he was wearing dreadlocks.

Education minister, David Coltart, Masiyephambili Junior School and the school’s headmaster are respondents.

Dube, through Lizwe Jamela of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, argued his family practices Rastafarian religion and keeping long hair was a manifestation of their religious beliefs.

“I raised this issue before school opening with the administration staff and they were reluctant to deal with the matter and advised me that I should rather have a word with 3rd respondent (headmaster) on the opening day.

“I believe my son’s long hair is not indiscipline or disobedience to the school as it is not related to his conduct,” he said.

Dube said he took his son to school on Tuesday and the headmaster advised him in no uncertain terms that his son was not going to be allowed in class if his hair was not cut.

“My son was in fact barred from joining his classmates and I was directed to leave with my son and comply with the said school rule if I still considered my son a student at the school.

“My religious pleas were not entertained at all and eventually I left the school dejected with my son while his counterparts were in class enjoying their right to education.”

Dube said his matter was an urgent one as his son had already lost two days of the school term and continued to suffer irreparable harm as he was not allowed into the school.