A VIDEO of a school teacher ferociously combing schoolboys’ hair at a school has gone viral. Picture: Twitter
A VIDEO of a school teacher ferociously combing schoolboys’ hair at a school has gone viral. Picture: Twitter

To comb or not? Twitter divided on viral school hair-combing video

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Mar 23, 2021

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JOHANNESBURG: Social media has been left divided after a video surfaced, showing a teacher ferociously combing schoolboys’ hair at the gates of a school suspected to be in Gauteng.

The video shows a female school teacher, who has her mask worn below her chin, ordering a group of schoolboys who have supposedly arrived at school with their hair uncombed, lining up to be combed.

The manner in which the teacher combs the pupils’ hair has been widely condemned. But some, in doing so, have also said the pupils were in the wrong for coming to school with uncombed hair.

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi described the video as “completely unacceptable” and ordered his team of officials to get more information about the video.

The Gauteng Education Department has yet to furnish any information about the video and the school in question has yet to be identified.

Said Lesufi: “We’ve many kids absconding from school or committing suicide on small things that happened at school and they become scared to come back to school.

“It might sound petty, but the number of learners taking wrong decisions, it’s massive. As I said, I am for discipline, not humiliation.”

Schools’ codes of conduct routinely stipulate that hair should be kept neat and tidy.

But in recent years, the issue of hair and schools has become a sensitive subject after Pretoria High School for Girls was rocked by fierce protests after black girls were not allowed to wear their Afros.

The EFF’s national communications manager, Sixo Gcilishe supposedly tweeted in support of the pupils, saying: “We are not combing a damn thing.” She also posted a picture of her uncombed hair.

But many were in disagreement with the pupils’ uncombed hair, saying pupils had to be disciplined and follow the school’s code of conduct.

One Twitter use said even Steve Biko combed his hair.

“So don't be bothered by "Deputy Biko" and "Vice Sankara" here on Twitter. Combing the hair is not an exclusively European thing. Africans have been doing it for millennia.”

Others believed the black teacher combing the schoolboy’s hair was “anti-black”.

“Most hair school policies ban afros and dreadlocks at black schools. Why do you love embracing anti-black systems so much?”

EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the teacher’s conduct was anti-black and called for her to be brought to book. He accused the teacher of teaching black pupils to hate their hair.

Commentator Eusebius McKaiser said the hair policing by teachers was a distraction.

IOL

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