“We were told that our hair ‘doesn’t represent the school.'” (March 2017)

2020-10-31 (2)(Photo by Eddie Jim)

Grace & Tahbisa “We were told that our hair doesn’t represent the school.” 

“NOT AGAIN”…..was my reaction to another article like Caleb Ernst’s story in yesterday’s paper. Two stories in two days about schools right here in Victoria, Australia, my home state. As a primary school teacher, I have never come across such an outrageous demand from a school. I have again (like I did for Caleb) written to the journalist expressing my support and concern for the girls. I will be sending some AfroShe® products to the girls via their school. If you are reading this and you feel like showing your support, you can do so by writing directly to the school or to the journalist Henrietta Cook at The Age -Victoria.

I feel saddened by the way Grace and her twin sister Tahbisa – and Caleb Ernst – are being treated and discriminated against for having hair that is different from other students in their school .In fact it’s far worse than that. Grace and Tahbisha are being told that they do not belong. Their Afro hair in a beautiful traditional style “Does not represent the school.”

Yesterday’s article about Caleb Ernst in Mildura and today’s article about Grace and Tahbisa send a clear signal to Australian Africans in Victoria – and probably across Australia – that racial discrimination in schools is a serious issue in 2017. I strongly feel that schools need to rethink and address their school /uniform policies towards inclusion and acceptance of minorities.

(Ruth Wallis – Formulator and Founder of AfroShe)