You may have heard recently about pupil Chikayzea Flanders , who was put in isolation at Fulham Boys School because they deemed his dreadlocks as inappropriate. Flanders is a Rastafarian. A religion that sees their dreadlocks (the crown) as a part of their spirituality and a representation of their roots to Africa. They take reference to the biblical command ‘not to cut one’s hair’ (Leviticus 21:5).
Although dreadlocks has been adopted in European culture as a fashion statement to convey a certain image and lifestyle , that is not the origin of it’s roots. It is these misconceptions in society that has blurred the line between religious practice and social trends.
The lack of education into different cultures and religions within our school system continues to be a prominent issue, especially in cases such as this.
By Fulham Boys School not accepting Flanders dreadlocks we can assume that they do not accept the Rastafarian religion. The United Kingdom’s wealth was built off the land that this religion was created and it is unfortunate that they are willing to disrupt a young child’s education because of a hairstyle that he does not wear by choice but because of his faith.
In a diverse state such as Britain we should be free to express our religious rights without fear of being ostracized.
The Flanders family are currently appealing to have the school review their policy on the appearance of their pupils. Hopefully Chikayzea will be able to return to his school, where he can be a staple for expressing your religious rights freely.