School hair tangle: racism or discipline?
THE DECISION by Wynberg Boy’s School to insist that one of its pupils conform to the school’s hair regulations (“Hair we go again”, Weekend Argus, July 29) sparked an emotional debate on social media about whether this was racism or discipline.
If rules apply to children of all races, then the rule should not be seen as racist. If the style, “stepping”, can be done on all types of hair, it has nothing to do with hair texture or custom.
The question we should be asking is: would permitting the “stepping” style compel the school to allow every other hairstyle? If the aim of uniformity is to guard against subtle but damaging fashion competition and to institute discipline, then there might be merit in stipulating what is acceptable and what is not when it comes to school dress code.
If all other black and coloured children and their parents are happy with the rules, it will be difficult to make an exception for one child.
If abiding by the generally accepted dress code is aimed at instituting discipline from a young age, can it be a bad idea?
Instilling discipline is vital for an individual’s development and character building. I recall an American psychology professor talking about a vitamin deficiency in our children, which was the cause of ill-discipline. He called it vitamin N for “No”.
He cited the example of how easily children got what they wanted because they lacked discipline. Such children become ill-disciplined as adults because they are accustomed to getting their way.
We see evidence of this in matric balls. Parents on the Cape Flats can spend between R10 000 to R15 000 for matric balls, which have absolutely nothing to do with education, but the same parents will not pay school fees or have money for text books.
I have never supported expensive matric balls and I am pleased that both my children agreed it was a waste.