By Neelam Rahim
A Greytown High School student has been threatened for refusing to shave his beard. The suspension follows an attempt to maintain uniformity mentioned in the school’s code of conduct which does not allow Muslim boys to grow a beard.
Tweeted earlier this week, a concerned sister has taken to the media after seeking multiple channels for assistance which was unfruitful.
According to the grade 11 pupil, the school prosecuted him to shave his beard once before. Wearing masks during the Covid-19 period, the student used a mask big enough to cover the lower portion of his face, thus continuing to keep his beard through the end of 2021 into 2022.
Approached multiple times by the school’s educators, the pupil expressed his grievances about the importance of a Muslim boy wearing a beard. The pupil was refused any understanding, and he was given break detention.
He told Radio Islam International, “A few of them understood whilst others blatantly refused and insisted that I follow the code of conduct.”
The second term into the third term, the educators continued to point out that the student needed to shave off his beard or there would be severe consequences to follow, to which he had presented two letters to the school. The first was an old case where the government sent a letter to another school stating that boys should be allowed to wear their beards. The second letter was from the Jamiat saying the importance of Muslim men keeping their beards.
A week later, the principal explained to the student that if the school allowed him to keep his beard, they would have to let other religions follow their traditions. The principal presented the student with other boys who faced the same pressure as himself and shaved off their beards as an example for the student to heed.
This followed a Tribunal Disciplinary Hearing in which the student now faces a seven-day suspension or expulsion should he not shave his beard.
In response to questions asked by Radio Islam International, the principal had no comment until the hearing had been finalised and receives a way forward from the department of education.