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Family of dreadlocked student to sue Achimota School

Family of a boy barred from beginning the academic year at Achimota Senior High School because of his dreadlocks intends to sue the school over discrimination.

The father of the 16-year-old boy, Raswad Menkrabea, is upset that the school is acting contrary to the constitution.

“Once the school goes against the constitution I will never accept it,” he said on Eyewitness News.

Raswad Menkrabea and his son abide by the Rastafari way of life and this is normally marked by the wearing of dreadlocks.

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One other boy with dreadlocks was also barred from starting school at the Achimota School.

Though Raswad Menkrabea wishes for his son to continue his education at Achimota School, he said this would be dependent on legal proceedings.

“We are making alternatives for another school if it is going to be a long drawn out issue while we fight it in court,” he said on Eyewitness News.

According to him, the teacher who prevented his son from beginning school refused to identify himself.

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Raswad Menkrabea also said there was no formal communication barring his son from the school.

“I went for him [the teacher] to give me an official letter that he has rejected the child and he said he would not do that.”

Child Rights International, an NGO, is backing Raswad Menkrabea and has called on the Achimota School to reverse the decision.

“The constitution of our country bestows the right to education as a substantive right of every child and no other impediment can be placed on any child in that regard,” the NGO said in a statement.

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Child Rights said a balance between the school rules and rights of parents was necessary in this situation.

“In our opinion, where there is a clash, each school must find its relevant space within our educational system but the ultimate is the substantive rights of children.”

“A child should not be denied access to education irrespective of his/her makeup, even if its ‘Rastafarian hair’,” Child Rights stressed.

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