The High Court has ordered Olympic High School to reinstate a Form One student, who was denied admission in January for having dreadlocks.
In a ruling delivered on Friday, Justice Chacha Mwita ruled that Rastafarianism is a religion, whose practices, including growing of dreadlocks, shouldn’t be discriminated in public institutions such as schools.
Justice Mwita stated that refusal by the school to admit the student infringed on the child’s Constitutional right to education.
“School rules should never be applied in a manner that infringes on the students’ Constitutional rights,” said the judge.
“The limitation must be one contemplated in the Constitution.”
The father to the minor had moved to court on January 14, 2019, and sued the School’s management for sending her daughter home for refusing to cut her dreadlocks.
Through his lawyer, Wambua Shadrack, the parent stated that the action amounts to discrimination on the basis of her Rastafarian beliefs.
He asked the court to order the school to reinstate her daughter unconditionally.
The court heard that the man’s family members are Rastafarians and they are forbidden by the Bible from cutting their hair.
However, the school’s legal team argued that admitting the student would mean going against the public institution’s rules and regulations the parent had signed.
“The fact that she keeps rastas should not have been the basis to chase her from school,” the judge said reiterating that school rules should not appear to be superior to the constitution.