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Girl banned from class because of dreadlocks granted access

BANNED: A court has ruled the girl can attend school in September (Photo credit: Sherine Virgo)

A FIVE-YEAR-OLD girl who was banned from going to school in Jamaica because of her dreadlocks has now be granted access to the classroom, thanks to a supreme court ruling.

The girl’s mother, Sherine Virgo, said: “We’re pretty happy about this part,” The Guardian reported.

The girl had been assessed and given a place at Kensington primary school in Kingston in May but Virgo was told by the school that her daughter’s dreadlocks would have to be cut for her to be admitted.

Virgo said cutting her daughter’s dreadlocks, which she had been growing since the age of one, was against the family’s beliefs.

According to Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ), a non-profit organisation, challenged the decision in court, the school policy prohibits locked hair because it deems it “inappropriate and at risk of lice”.

In a statement, JFJ, said: "This is only the beginning of the process, and while there is much more to be done in court, we are pleased by the first order from the court to allow this child - who has done nothing wrong - to attend classes and obtain the education that she has a constitutionally protected human right to. Without this order, she could have faced the prospect of being denied an education.”

The girl’s parents told The Gleaner in a joint statement: “We are really heartened by the fact that our daughter can attend school in September without interference. All we want is for her to get the quality education that she deserves and for these discriminatory practices to end.”

The supreme court’s ruling will mean that the girl can start classes in September. The case is expected to return to court next year.

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