Newspaper clipping – The Mercury – 14 September 2010
Braidy bunch in trouble
In a bold move to enforce discipline, a Durban school barred 15 Grade 12 pupils from writing a preparatory exam after they broke its code of conduct when they showed up with fancy hairdos and braids.
The Mzwamandla High School, Umlazi, pupils were turned away from the exam room as KwaZulu-Natal pupils sat for their maths and English papers yesterday. They were barred from writing maths but were later allowed to write the English paper.
The upset girls, who refused to be named, said the school was supposed to have a matric dance on August 19, which was, however, postponed to the end of this month as a result of the three-week public servants’ strike. They said that while the school had instructed them on Friday to remove the hairstyles, they had chosen not to because they could not afford to redo them for the matric ball.
Nathi Mbokazi, Congress of South African Students (Cosas) eThekwini convenor, who intervened on behalf of the pupils, said the school could have been more flexible in handling the matter.
The school’s deputy principal, Mzo Dlamini, however, denied that the school had allowed pupils to braid their hair in whatever hairstyle after June. Dlamini said that while the school was willing to exercise flexibility in the matter, the group had been “arrogant” which had forced the school’s hand in barring them from writing the maths test.
KZN Education Department spokeswoman Mbali Thusi said the school was entitled to enforce its code of conduct.