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Aug 31, 2022

I Am Not My Hair – M.O.E. Concerned about School Hair Policies

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology today issued a release expressing concern over school hair policies. The release comes on the heels of reports that approximately thirty students were sent home by the administration of the Bishop Martin School in Orange Walk and were not being allowed into their classrooms for failure to adhere to the hair policy of the educational institution. The ministry quotes from the constitution saying that, “equal protection should be given to children regardless of their social status, and that a just system should be ensured to provide for education and health on the basis of equality.” Fundamentally, Chief Executive Officer Dian Maheia says that the ministry is not about micromanaging schools, but students cannot be removed from or denied admission to school because of the length of their hair.


Dian Maheia

Dian Maheia, C.E.O., Ministry of Education

“We fully recognize and support the schools in their right to have rules and to have policies; that’s absolutely clear. The one thing that we also want to make clear is the fact that as enshrined in our constitution, that schools cannot and should not remove students or deny students admission to a classroom based on the length of their hair. These are, in general, rules that have been in existence for a very long time. Where we are today in 2022 is not where we were when the vast majority of our schools were opened; in some cases, decades ago. While we are, as the Ministry of Education, embarking this year on a general revision of the education rules, we haven’t done any sort of a comprehensive review of the rules of each school. That’s a monumental task. So that’s why we thought as a general reminder to managements to administrations, we would highlight the fact that this is something that they really can’t do. It is one thing to state what your uniform is and to ensure that students abide by a certain uniform code or dress code, for example, but at the end of the day really, studies have shown that a student’s ability to learn is not impeded by the length of his hair. And we really want to remind everyone that what is important is to getting students back to school right now. We have a wonderful opportunity right now at the beginning of this academic year to create positive memories in positive learning environments so that our students will have positive experiences of this academic year.”

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