The National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA) is calling on the KwaZulu-Natal Education Department and school governing bodies to reform their dress code policies. This after a learner committed suicide.
The 15-year-old girl recently made headlines after she was reportedly suspended from Nombika High School in the iLembe District for wearing traditional attire to school due to her ancestral calling to become a traditional healer.
She was later allowed to return to school following the department’s intervention. The circumstances of the teenager’s death remain unclear.
“We have to take a leaf out of the history books. And we have to look at how the constitutional court ruled in the Pillay matter. If you recall a few years ago, a girl was banned from school or suspended from school for wearing a nose ring. And that matter went all the way up to the constitutional court, where the court ruled, and that is the highest court in the land, ruled that it is part of her religious practice and she should be allowed to actually wear the nose ring. So, we’ve already got precedence from the highest court in the land. What we should have done since then is reform policy and we should have made policy compliant with the concourt ruling in the Pillay matter, ” says NAPTOSA Provincial Chief Executive Thirona Moodley.