I attended a Catholic school and there were rules about how long our skirts should be, how to wear our tie, the color of your shoes and socks and what you should wear under your uniform.
If they had rules about underwear it isn’t a stretch to have rules about how your hair should be worn. The issue is, are the rules justified or just a clear message that natural hair is considered in and of itself unkempt. Do the rules apply to everyone in the school or just the black girls?
Our school was very diverse, like much of the island it was a melting pot of all races, however when I was there, natural hair could be worn in twists, or ponytails or pigtails.
We did not have twist outs and braid outs, not because they were not allowed but because those styles are relatively new. The Principal has a right to set standards for how all students should look, my issue is the use of the words ‘unkempt’ for just women with afro textured hair.
There are some that support Principal Wade’s decision including that of Barbadian social commentator Corey Sandiford
As *I* understand it – since *I* like most people commenting on the incident was not in the school hall at the time it occurred –
– Identified SEVERAL student practices (including hairstyles) that were not suitable, according to school rules
– Did not identify any specific students as being culpable for their hairstyles
– Actually highlighted the controversial twist-out style for its beauty, but simply said THAT particular style isn’t considered suitable for school.
– At no time used the words “flamboyant” or “unsettling” to describe the style with reference to the school.
Tell me: What exactly is the problem here ? Are we actually going to behave as though stringent rules are new in our schools ? Or, as though any of our “older secondary schools” have ever remotely presented themselves as being here to promote your afrocentric values in the first place ?
Maybe the syllabus has changed since I left Harrison College but while I was there I sure as hell never learned about African history, or anything intrinsically African for that matter.
Harrison College is part of a whole education system that is, itself, a mirror image of the school system that existed in Britain – when Barbados was still a colony.