Fri | Jan 19, 2018

Haircut nonsense: school's no democracy

Published:Friday | March 4, 2016 | 12:00 AM


I found Jaevion Nelson's article ('Faded haircuts, mohawks and school rules', Gleaner, March 3, 2015) trite and unreasoned. He seems to accept that there is value in having rules in educational institutions, but cannot see the merit in banning specific haircuts, such as mohawks and fadeways.

A very important reason is that some gangs use hairstyles to identify their membership. A primary goal of school rules - like the uniforms that are worn - are designed to ensure conformity, in order to minimise the hardship on parents and children who are not able to maintain the latest fads and fashion.

The school should be equipping the student to live in an organised society, that is, a society based on rules and regulations. We may not like rules that restrict our conduct. Our drivers display their dislike and refusal to comply with these rules every day. The consequences are clear.

There are channels within the school system which would enable parents and students to effect changes to rules they consider arbitrary and non-functional. The late Bishop Percival Gibson, one-time headmaster of Kingston College, would say that a school is not a democracy. I would go further and say it cannot afford to be a democracy.