Guyana's education minister warns against hairstyle-related student suspensions

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) – Education Minister in Guyana, Priya Manickchand, on Tuesday warned schools about sending students home because of their hairstyle, indicating that guilty parties will face disciplinary action.

“I was clear enough in writing. Children are not to be sent home for any breach or perceived breach of any school’s hairstyle rule. And any person so doing ( sending children home) will face disciplinary proceedings," Manickchand wrote on her Facebook page.

“The Minister and Ministry have been clear on this issue: children are not to be sent home because of any breach or perceived breach of any hairstyle rule. Schools are reminded,” it said.

The statements follow a report on social media indicating that a student from South Ruimveldt Secondary School had been sent home because of her hairstyle.

In January, the Ministry of Education issued a memorandum stating that learners must not be sent home over perceived hairstyle breaches. Headteachers were reminded that their main priority is to ensure all learners are in school and are being taught with the aim of reducing any further learning loss.

Further, the memo warned that in any instance of a learner being deemed to have an inappropriate hairstyle, the school must invite his or her parent or guardian to discuss the perceived infraction.

The Ministry of Education has said that it has no policy regulating hairstyles in schools; rules have been created by the schools themselves.

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