The Accra Human Rights High Court yesterday ruled against the action of Achimota Senior High School (SHS), which denied two students admission because of their dread locks.
The court said it was in contradiction of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana and fundamental rights of the students.
Master Tyron Marghuy and OhenebaKwakuNkrabea were offered admission through the Computer Placement System (CPS), but were told to cut their Rastafarian hairdo before they attend classes.
The students, acting through their parents, sued the AchimotaSchool Board of Governors and joined the Ghana Education Service as second respondent.
Both respondents filed separate affidavits and opposed the motion in which the applicants urged the court to order the school to allow them complete the registration process and attend classes.
The respondents averred that granting the motion of the applicants would open the Pandora box for other students to wear dread locks.
It is the case of the respondents that the school was governed by set of rules which bars students from keeping long hairdo.
Counsel for the applicants argued that the rights of their clients to education had been violated by the respondents.
They contend their clients kept the Rastafarian hairdo as a manifestation of their religious beliefs.
Ruling on the case, Justice Gifty Addo stated that no reasonable justification has been put before the court by the respondents to convince it rule in favour of the respondents.
He said “the respondents do not dispute the fact that the rules of the school are made by the Board of Governors of the school, but the implementation of these rules must be in conformity with the rules of the Ghana Education Service and the 1992 Constitution.”
Justice Addosaid “I reject the argument of the respondents that upholding the reliefs of the applicant will discriminate against other students who abide by the rules of the school.”
She said “fundamental human rights are not absolute and can be limited by statutes and policies. But this must be juxtaposed with the public interest as in this current case.”
Justice Addo said the ultimate aim of the rules was to enhance discipline and academic excellence.
“What will be the effect on the school community if the applicant is allowed to keep his dreadlocks?” Justice Addo queried.
On the issue of hygiene, the judge noted that she does not see how keeping low hair enhances hygiene in the school.
Judge Addosaid that the respondents had not demonstrated to the court how the applicants keeping their dreadlocks would affect their health and the health of other students.
She said the ultimate aim of the rules of the school was omnibus and “I am unable to see the disadvantage to the school community in allowing the applicant to keep their dreadlocks.”
Caption: Master Marhghuy (middle) and his family in an ecstatic mood after the ruling.
BY MALIK SULLEMANA & RAISSA SAMBOU
Credit: Source link