Since schools reopened for the final term of the year, one school in Eldorado Park has been facing problems which led to gang violence amongst learners in schools. Learners said that they had missed out on school work numerous times after being sent back home for not following the code of conduct (CoC). The CoC was initiated and implemented years ago to groom learners, but the learners say the CoC only works in the school’s favour.
One learner from Missourilaan Secondary said that he and a bunch of learners were suspended for many but non-consecutive days for wearing dreadlocks. The CoC of Missourilaan does not state that learners are not allowed in the school if they have dreadlocks. He also said that the principal does not have a problem with their choice of hairstyle because it’s neat and tidy, but only one teacher had problem. “What I don’t understand is some girls comes with colourful hair which is prohibited, which the teacher doesn’t have a problem with it but she has a problem with us who have dreadlocks,” said Kaylin (not his real name).
Boys were not the only targets, girls from the same school said that they were also chased out of school for spotting natural hair in the form of afros or fastening in little afros, etc., but girls with coloured hair or braids had been allowed in. The learners are worried of their school work. They have raised a concern about safety. One learner said that there were divisions between learners in the school because of the way they are treated based on their hair or uniform.
“Last week two gangs had been fighting because one learner had laughed at one boy who had absconded from school because of his hair and he just felt that the learner who had been laughing is better than him. A huge fight had broken out between the two groups, gangs, and I fear for my life,” said Lerato (not her real name).
Learners said that most of the fights happening at the school were because of the CoC and the teacher who had been having a problem with their hairstyles. Learners are saying the teacher is racist and prejudiced. They also said that some of them missed out some of their exam papers. Security guards at the schools confirmed that learners were being sent home but they also insisted the learners are breaking the Code of Conduct of the school.
Visitors are not allowed in the school unless they are from the Department of Education or a parent whose child had been in trouble.
This article was submitted on 19 November 2022. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (www.Karibu.org.za), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.