Faith school isolates Rastafarian child for having dreadlocks

September 29, 2017

Fulham Boys School in London has demanded that a Rastafarian pupil has their dreadlocks cut off because they break the school’s uniform and appearance policy. The policy of the Church of England free school bans dreadlocks, despite them being important to many Rastafarians.

The pupil’s mother has told local media that the secondary school will only teach their child – who joined the school this term – in isolation until their hair is cut. The pupil’s mother has started a petition against the school’s stance, which has so far attracted nearly 5,000 signatures.

Chair of the Accord Coalition for Inclusive Education, Rabbi Do Jonathan Romain, said ‘The pupil should be included by the school and efforts made to repair relationships as a matter of urgency. Demanding a Rastafarian pupil cuts their hair is clearly inappropriate and offensive, if not also directly discriminatory.

‘There can be sound practical reasons why pupils must conform in how they appear and dress. However, schools should also look to make reasonable accommodation for the religious or non-religious beliefs and practices of pupils.’

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