Angry Malibu High School pupils protesting after pupils were suspended for having untidy hair. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane / African News Agency
Cape Town – A second staffer at Malibu High School in Blue Downs faces disciplinary action for alleged discriminatory comments made to pupils over the way they wore their natural hair.

This comes as the school’s caretaker has been suspended pending a disciplinary hearing.

Western Cape Education Department (WCED) spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said the school’s hair policy was being reviewed.

“The caretaker will face a disciplinary hearing regarding the comments allegedly made. He’s a school governing body appointee and is currently suspended. 

"An investigation into the comments made by one of the teachers is also under way by Labour Relations. The teacher is employed by the WCED,” Hammond said.

Schools may decide on dress codes, including hairstyles, as part of their codes of conduct, she added.

“The WCED has requested that schools review their codes of conduct periodically to ensure they achieve their purpose in line with the Constitution, while taking into account ongoing discussion on what codes of conduct should require with the participation of pupils,” Hammond said.

The school made headlines earlier this month when pupils in grades 10 to 12 charged that they were told their “outrageous hair needed to be kept in plaits or tied up”.

Nine pupils who protested against the school’s policy and alleged racist comments by the staff members were initially issued with disciplinary notices, which were later withdrawn.

Principal David Links yesterday refused to comment on developments, and referred questions to the WCED.

The EEF had held a meeting between parents, members of the Congress of South African Students and the South African Youth Council, and said voice recordings were played where staffers could be heard saying “Afros are not allowed in this school”; “it’s just hair, why must you cry?”; “only apes and bears are born with Afros”; “no, that’s not your hair”; “you look outrageous” and “go fix your hair”.

EFF provincial deputy chairperson Nosipho Makamba-Botya yesterday said they welcomed the investigation into the teacher, although they were still calling for Links’s head to roll.

“The principal himself must be disciplined. The code of conduct has been a problem for a while,” Makamba-Botya said.

Cape Times