Kenya: Court Orders School to Re-Admit Student Expelled Over Dreadlocks

Gor Mahia's Dennis Oliech dribbles past a Posta Rangers player during a SportPesa Premier League match on January 9, 2019.
13 September 2019

Nairobi — Olympic High School has been directed to re-admit a Rastafarian girl it had expelled over dreadlocks.

This follows a ruling by the High Court, which prohibited the school from "interfering with the teenage girl's education on religious grounds."

In his ruling on Friday, Justice Chacha Mwita noted that the "school action was an affront to religious freedom, which is a guarantee for all people under the new constitution."

"I am satisfied she has made a case against the school and the attempt to force her cut her hair is a violation to her rights to education," the judge ruled in a case in which the girl had sued the school for expelling her over dreadlocks."

The school expelled her on the grounds that before joining the school, she had signed the rules which bars students from having dreadlocks.

Her lawyer Ochiel Dudley welcomed court decision, terming it a "win for freedom of religion and a celebration of diversity."

This is the first-ever Rastafarian case of that nature handled in the country.

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