William Knibb High School in Trelawny, is being accused of discrimination after their Principal Linvern Wright decided to not allow a student to do face to face due to issues with him wearing his hair in a plaited style.
The student is a 15-year-old boy by the name of Ajeani, whose mother Keddesha Wright said was wearing the hairstyle due to their adherence to the Rastafarian faith. The young man is said to have been a student of the institution since the year 2018, and the mother of the child said that the previous principal allowed for Rastafarians to attend the school once they had their hair covered.
Wright, however, is not letting up as he does not believe the claims of the mother stating that the child is of Rastafarian faith since the boy’s hair is in a plaited style and not locks. As a way forward, Wright who spoke to the Jamaica Star said his school policy provides a welcoming arm to Rastafarians, to the extent where he does not mind if students of the faith do not wear a tam.
About the policy of a team that was previously instituted by the previous principal, Wright says that he found out that up to 13 students were found to be tricking him by wearing a head covering to hide plaits under the disguise they were of the Rastafarian faith. Those students, according to the Principal, had to eventually get a haircut.
According to the mother of the child, Ajeani has been in a state of depression over the issue, to the point where he hardly eats and has been locking himself into his room every day, even when she is not working and is home with him.
She goes further to describe that whenever she asks him about how he is doing he tells her he is fine then goes on how he truly feels about school, making it known to her that if William Knibb is not willing to accept him with his hair he will just attend another institution. As a major concern at this time, however, James says the required School-Based Assessments (SBA) for her son’s Csec examinations are the main things on his mind at this time.
Moving forward, Wright has suggested to the mother of the child that all needs to be done is for him to lock his hair since he is a Rastafarian as it would be unfair for him to continue wearing a plaited hairstyle under a tam to school, knowing that other students who were sporting the same style had to cut it.
James is adamant however that her son is of the Rastafarian faith and even got a letter to prove that information but the principal of the institution has spoken his mind on the matter, and it looks as if he will not be going back on his decision to not allow Ajeani to do face to face classes until his hair is cut or locked.