Court: School may refuse pupil for incorrect hairdo

The Association for Protestant Christian Education (VPCO) was recently put in the right again for refusing a pupil because of his hairdo.

The young lad, who was fourteen years of age when he registered August last year, had long braided hair. At the time, the Albert Schweitzer College (ASC) had denied him access when he refused to observe the school rules.

With regard to boys, these rules stipulate the following: “No earrings. Short hairdo. Long hair, corkscrew curls, all kinds of braids, twister style, afro, etc. are not allowed.” The parents and their son were informed of these rules, which they signed upon registration. At the start of the school year 2010-2011, it appeared the boy did not want to have his hair cut. Subsequently, the ACS had refused him access. The pupil is attending another school and during the trial, the VPCO stated the matter is no longer pressing. The Court rejected this proposition because the child is of school age and could hardly wait for a settlement of the case. In its verdict, the Court considered the fact that a school was available in the surrounding.

“In their admittance policy, the VPCO is free to distinguish between boys with short hair on the one hand and boys with long hair on the other hand. It’s true that the hairdo affects the private life of the boy in question, but the right to in principle have a certain hairdo as desired, is not fundamental as such that it limits the selection freedom of the VPCO in this respect,” the Court explained.

6 September 2011

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