The Ministry of Education and Sports shared an update regarding hairstyles in schools after the reopening of the schools across the nation. Education officials are currently finalizing a draft document on the subject matter.
Antigua and Barbuda: The Ministry of Education and Sports shared an update regarding hairstyles in schools after the reopening of the schools across the nation. Education officials are currently finalizing a draft document on the subject matter.
Section 49 of the Education Act, 2008 authorizes public schools to “introduce rules to govern the attire conduct and discipline of students” as long the Director has approved these rules of Education.
The policy below aims to provide guidelines which define the scope of rules regarding hair that are approved by the Director of Education.
Schools rules pertaining to hair should be made within the framework provided by the following guidelines:
It must be stated that the Ministry of Education and Sports condemns all forms of discrimination, especially when directed at students throughout Antigua and Barbuda.
The Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda, having met today, all members present—three days following the reopening of all schools, public and private—expressed its strong condemnation of several schools, both private and public, that discriminate against Rastafarians and those students who wear their natural hair in locks.
The Constitution of Antigua and Barbuda protects freedom of religion, freedom of association, and the freedom to hold a belief system that differs from the majority.
The Cabinet noted that objection to natural hairstyles on the heads of students might be couched in language covering school deportment; however, the object, as the Cabinet sees it, is to enable discrimination against children from the Rastafarian community.
That debate about the exclusion of Rastafarians from schools ended in Antigua and Barbuda nearly 50 years ago. Schools are not to discriminate against members of the Rastafarian community or those who choose to wear their hair in the same manner as the Rastafarians practice. That is the policy as articulated by the Government.
If it becomes necessary, the Parliament of Antigua and Barbuda will be induced to change the policy into law.
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