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Suspension not the answer to bleaching

Published:Tuesday | June 25, 2019 | 12:20 AM


The recent discussion on skin bleaching in schools shows how naïve individuals are to the reality of our society. In our society, colourism is a very big issue, especially in inner city communities where individuals are praised for how light their skin complexion is, and, by extension, how good their bleaching is.

Students live in a society where individuals of a lighter complexion, in some spaces, are often seen as superior. Even within schools – children of high standing with light skin complexion are often situated on the top of the social hierarchy and receive ‘special treatment’ from the school’s administration.

How can we blame students for altering their appearance to adapt to the circumstances and prejudices bred by our own society? Skin bleaching is merely a by-product of our environment’s portrayal of the standard of beauty and how we choose to address this product will reflect heavily us.

Punishing students, by suspension, for skin bleaching would in no way benefit anyone.

Students will be allowed to be home and be left to their own devices, which could sprout even more problems, maybe taking this suspension to be a vacation from school.

Is this really effective punishment for students? How will temporarily restricting a student from learning be effective? Is this really the correct way to address this issue?

We need to acknowledge that the students within the schools are products of society’s influences and various socio-economic backgrounds which have a heavy influence on students’ behavioural patterns. Adjusting and remodelling the way we react to these patterns are essential in development of children.

Suspending a student’s education for skin bleaching reflects how hypocritical, backwards, oblivious and naïve we are as a society.