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Social media furious over dreadlocks ruling

Jamaica Observer 2020-08-02 02:16:31

KINGSTON, Jamaica— Jamaicans have taken to social media to vent their frustration over the Supreme Court's ruling that a school was within its rights to demand that a then five-year-old girl cut her dreadlocks to attend classes.

The judgement, which was passed down yesterday, brought an end to a two-year -long battle, after the child was told to cut her dreadlocks for "hygiene" reasons to study at a primary school in St Catherine.

As the nation observes today as Emancipation Day, social media users have pointed to ruling being a contradiction of Jamaica's culture.

Former Miss Jamaica World, Terri-Karelle Reid took to Twitter to express her displeasure “celebrating Emancipation and promoting our rich culture that boasts of rasta and "one love" but a child can't go to school with locs inna big 2020.”

TV and radio host Dahlila Harris shared similar sentiments.

“Happy Emancipation day to those who praise Bob, Wailers, Koffee...all our artists but wouldn't mek dem pass de school gate. Guess courthouse good for Rasta lawyer, Gordon House good for Rasta MP...but school can ban dem. MOE taxpayers waan know how dis go,” she tweeted. 

In a series of tweets popular Jamaican youtuber and attorney 'Rushcam' said “we embrace Miss Jamaica with her afro but she couldn't go school because the hair unkempt. Gwaan ya”
“Is like unu nah understand. In TWENTY TWENTY JAMAICA a mother should not have to go to COURT because her child is not being allowed in school with locs. We not arguing on the case and the law because there are so many technical components which could determine success. But in 21st century Jamaica it should be so ABSURD for a school to have a rule like that,” he added.

“Man dem milk Rasta and locs to market Jamaica as a tourist destination and people with locs can't even get work or access education because of it. Lol,” another Twitter user said.

“This ruling is a slap in the face to the Rasta community. It is evident now more than ever that all the talk about Rasta and reparations for Coral Gardens was just a smoke screen. The community is still not accepted in 2020,” another user said.

The ruling which has now gained international attention has also drawn criticism from non-Jamaicans.

“Of all places, Jamaica passed this foolishness? What is going on in the world?” an Instagram user said.

“Imagine this happening in a predominately black country, smh, colonial powers still at work I see,” another added.

Sashell Williams