Hair scandal at Hyde Park high school sparks fierce debate

South Africa News

A learner from Hyde Park high school in Gauteng faces detention because her hair was labelled ‘distracting’.

Zoe Chibuye, who is in grade nine, was immediately handing a notice of detention when she arrived late at school on 8 March 2019.

Hyde Park high school serves learner with detention

She states that she stood in the queue with her fellow learners to sign her lateness record.

The teacher on duty let her know that she has detention, because her hair was described as “distracting and attention-grabbing”.

When Zoe Chibuye told her mother, she did not believe her at first.

Gloria Chibuye said;

“She usually has it braided. And then one week she has it out and she gets detention,”

Having it out meant it being washed and tied up.

According to Zoe, the code of conduct for the school states that she had done nothing wrong.

What Hyde Park’s code of conduct says about hair

The code of conduct states that hair should be kept neat and be kept away from the face.

It further states that the style of the hair should not draw attention to itself and that no extreme hairstyles are allowed – which is the main reason Zoe Chibuye received detention.

Zoe Chibuye states that the teacher had told her to fix it, which she claims she was unable to do, because that is how her hair is.

Education Department to investigate Hyde Park

The Gauteng Education Department aims to intervene and will send a team of officials to the school to investigate.

MEC Panyaza Lesufi said;

“If you detain a learner you must detain them after notifying the relevant people about the transgression if there is a transgression.”

Zoe, who is 15 years old, is expected to report and serve her detention period on 14 March 2019.

In 2016 there was a similar incident at Pretoria Girls High school that initiated a range of protests.




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