A Kenyan court has ordered schools not to expel students who keep dreadlocks.
The High Court decision on Friday indicated which Rastafarianism is actually a religion just like any different in addition to ought to be respected.
While giving his final verdict in a suit in which a father of a girl who was sent away coming from Olympic High School in Nairobi soon after being admitted in Form One, Justice Enoch Chacha Mwita said which the school administration’s action denied the girl her right to religion in addition to education.
The judge also pointed out which the Constitution does not define what religion is actually nevertheless the dictionary does.
“This kind of is actually the first ever case in This kind of country where a child dons rasta braids because of her religious beliefs, Rastafarianism is actually a religion which should also be accorded protection,” said Justice Mwita.
in addition to while defending the girl’s parents for taking her to school well aware which the learning institution may be opposed to Rastafarianism, the judge said which every parent has to ensure which their child joins school for purposes of spiritual mental in addition to social development.
He pointed out which the Constitution clearly spells out which failing to take a child to school is actually an offence which attracts a fine of Ksh100,000 ($1,000) or a one-year jail term.
The judge ruled which the school acted in a discriminatory manner to send away the said girl.
“School rules stand on her way to religion in addition to education, the rules have been applied in a manner to deny her education, keeping rastas is actually a manifestation of her religion in addition to forcing her to cut the idea is actually contrary to her beliefs,” said Justice Mwita.
inside the suit, the father of several protested against the school’s decision to send home his daughter with instructions to cut off her dreadlocks at the start of This kind of year.
According to her parents, they had indicated in her admission documents which she belongs to the Rastafarian Society of Kenya (RSK).
Her father’s attempt to seek assistance coming from the education office in Kibera estate did not bear any fruit as his complaint was summarily dismissed.
He then moved to court to challenge his daughter’s suspension coming from school. nevertheless the school argued which RSK has nothing to do with the right to education of students.
the idea also claimed which the girl wore a hijab on the day of her admission in addition to verbally indicated which she was a Muslim hence was admitted to a class which teaches Islamic religion.
The school also told the court which her hijab fell off in addition to exposed her dreadlocks. the idea is actually then which she was told which she might only be allowed in class after she shaves her hair.
However, the judge declared which the decision to exclude the student coming from school because of keeping dreadlocks was a violation of her rights to education in addition to religion.
He also issued an order barring Olympic High School coming from interfering with the minor over her dreadlocks.
“School rules are not intended to punish students, the fact which she keeps dreadlocks should not have been the basis to chase her coming from school. There must be a balance between fundamental rights in addition to school rules,” ruled Justice Mwita.
He added: “School rules should not appear to be superior to the Constitution, the rule which she cuts her hair is actually intrusive to her religion in addition to not justifiable in a democratic country.”