Banning burkinis from beaches, denying entry to schools according to hairstyles or rather, religious practices . . . What’s next? Many thanks to Peter Jordens for sharing this item: Immanuel Marica (4) is presently being home-schooled by his parents because Sister Regina Primary School in St Maarten will not allow him to attend “because of his hair (locks).” Here are excerpts from The Daily Herald (2 September 2016; photo above is from the original article).
The school has a policy that all pupils’ hair should be properly groomed, but there is a catch. The school determines what is “properly groomed.” Immanuel’s parents practice the Rastafari faith and do not believe in cutting their children’s hair because the hair is a symbol of strength.
Immanuel’s father Sergio Marica gave a detailed account of how issues between him, the school and the Catholic school board got out of hand and will result in a future court case.
The family specifically picked the Simpson Bay school because it was the only Dutch-language school in the neighbourhood.
“I’m born and raised Dutch and I believe that my child should learn and read Dutch. We knew that at the school there is a Rastafarian girl pupil with locks in school and for her it is not a problem. I suspect that is because her father is a teacher at the same school,” stated Marica. He said the reason he had chosen the school had to do with not being able to leave Simpson Bay to go in St. Peters traffic early in the morning.
Immanuel started early stimulation at the school in 2014 before his hair grew. The school sent a warning letter to his parents in November 2015 informing them that his hair was getting too long and therefore they should cut it immediately.
Marica reacted with his own letter to the teacher, informing her that they were Rastafarians and would not cut Immanuel’s hair.
The father foresaw that this issue would go far and decided to seek legal counsel from Attorney Jason Rogers, who exchanged several letters between the Catholic school board and his office.
Eventually Sister Regina School accepted Immanuel with locks and his test results were excellent, according to his father. Two months later, the school board reacted to one of Attorney Rogers’ letters, informing him that they maintained that the school has a right to keep pupils out who are not properly groomed. [. . .]
For full article, see https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/59933-boy-expelled-because-of-his-rastafari-faith
[Photo from the original article.]