The Human Rights Court Division of the Accra High Court sided with two Rastafarian students denied admission to the school because they wore dreadlocks.
Achimota School informed the parents of Oheneba Nkrabea and Tyrone Marhguy that their sons would have to cut their dreadlocks in order for the school to enroll them. Additionally, Achimota asserted its revised rules and regulations from August 2020 state that students must keep their hair “low, simple and natural.”
The families rejected the ultimatum and informed the school they would challenge the decision in court.
And their efforts proved to be fruitful.
“To maintain that a person must cut his or her dreadlocks, which is the manifestation of his or her religion, before admitted into the school, sins against the 1992 Constitution,” Justice Gifty Adjei Addo said.
Addo rebuffed the school’s stance that it would essentially be discriminating against other students who abide by the school’s rules if it did not uphold the policy.
“How keeping low hair enhances hygiene in the school has not been impressed on this Court and how the applicant keeping his dreadlocks will affect his health and the health of other students has also not been impressed on the court,” she said. “I am unable to see the disadvantage to the School community in allowing the applicant to keep his dreadlocks.”
Marhguy spoke to reporters after the ruling, calling the decision “a great story.”
“The first time I walked through the gate of Achimota, the first thing I did was to check the time [I arrived] because I knew one day I would be telling a story with it. I had no idea I would be telling one great story in the courtroom about how I was discriminated [against] and how I am back,” he said per Citi News.