Local reports say that the Barbados Ministry of Education has announced plans to review school hairstyle policies amid claims that students with dreadlocked hairstyles face blatant discrimination.
But at the same time, Barbados Today has reported that Chief Education Officer Dr. Ramona Archer-Bradshaw has stressed that existing rules must be followed.
The online publication quoted the Education Ministry official telling a news conference of the need to reexamine certain policies to meet the changing international environment.
“What I can say is that we have met as a Ministry. I have had a conversation also with the Minister and we are looking to see how we can review that policy so that we can be even more inclusive,” Archer-Bradshaw said.
According to Barbados Today, late last month, the President of the African Heritage Foundation, Paul ‘Simba’ Rock, lamented that there was recently an increase in the number of Rastafarian children being sent home from secondary schools with correspondence indicating that their hairstyles did not comply with school rules.
Rock said that amounted to discrimination against the children.
And he said he had written letters to principals regarding the issue and sent correspondence to the Chief Education Officer seeking a meeting to address the issue.