Grange bats for Rastas
Culture Minister Olivia Grange has said that Government policy, in keeping with the Jamaican Constitution, does not permit discrimination on the basis of religious, cultural practices or race.
In a press release on Wednesday, Grange said that it was not acceptable for any person in Jamaica to be discriminated against, or denied services on the basis of how he/she wears his/her hair.
Her comments follow a report in The Gleaner on Tuesday about the Attorney General (AG)'s Chambers' response to a claim filed by Sherine Virgo, mother of a then five-year-old girl who was blocked from entering Kensington Primary School because of her dreadlocked hairstyle.
Virgo argues that the St Catherine-based institution’s policy against the hairstyle was in breach of her daughter’s constitutional rights.
The response by the AG's Chambers said that the policy was “targeted at hairstyles that were found to be the source of bad hygiene and disorder in classes, which ultimately reduced the effectiveness of the teaching and learning experience.”
Minister Grange said her ministry would work with government ministries, departments and agencies to ensure that guidance issued on grooming and appropriate appearance for work or school does not target specific hair texture and hair styles, race or religion.