In Summary
  • The judge also pointed out that the Constitution does not define what religion is but the dictionary does.

  • The judge ruled that the school acted in a discriminatory manner to send away the said girl.

  • The student's father issued an order barring Olympic High School from interfering with the minor over her dreadlocks.

The High Court has ordered Olympic High School not to expel students who keep dreadlocks.

A High Court decision on Friday indicated that Rastafarianism is a religion just like any other and ought to be respected.

While giving his final verdict in a suit in which a father of a girl who was sent away from Olympic High School soon after being admitted in Form One, Justice Enoch Chacha Mwita said that the school administration’s action denied the girl her right to religion and education.

CONSTITUTION

The judge also pointed out that the Constitution does not define what religion is but the dictionary does.

“This is the first ever case in this country where a child dons rasta braids because of her religious beliefs, Rastafarianism is a religion which should also be accorded protection,” said Justice Mwita.

And while defending the girl’s parents for taking her to school well aware that the learning institution may be opposed to Rastafarianism, the judge said that every parent has to ensure that their child joins school for purposes of spiritual mental and social development.

He pointed out that the Constitution clearly spells out that failing to take a child to school is an offence that attracts a fine of Sh100,000 or a one-year jail term.

DISCRIMINATORY

The judge ruled that the school acted in a discriminatory manner to send away the said girl.

“School rules stand on her way to religion and education, the rules have been applied in a manner to deny her education, keeping rastas is a manifestation of her religion and forcing her to cut it is contrary to her beliefs,” said Justice Mwita.

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