SAHRC: School rules and codes of conduct are subject to the supremacy of the Constitution
The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC/Commission) will visit Windsor House Academy in Kempton Park, today, 26th July 2017, following media reports of a group of learners being expelled on Monday, allegedly due to their hairstyles.
The Commission’s Gauteng Provincial Manager, Buang Jones, will be delivering a letter of allegations to the school, after which the school will be afforded an opportunity to respond. The visit is also intended to gain an understanding of the facts of the alleged incident and to review the school’s code of conduct and measure whether proper procedure was followed in sending the learners home. The Commission, in reviewing the code of conduct, would also have to consider the motive/logic behind the particular rule in question.
Whilst the Commission recognises the need for discipline and codes of conduct in schools, such rules/codes are also subject to the supremacy of the Constitution and should not violate learners’ rights. The Commission is also concerned that certain school policies may not comply with the constitutional imperatives of racial, ethnic and religious diversity in South Africa, said Commissioner Andre Gaum, SAHRC Commissioner responsible for the Right To Education.
The SAHRC would like to re-iterate our call for the Department of Basic Education to review codes of conduct for all schools (both in public and private schools) in South Africa to ensure that the codes are underpinned by constitutional values of equality and dignity in an open and democratic society.
Source: Government of South Africa