In yet another case of racism showing its ugly face, pupils at Pretoria Girls High in South Africa are protesting against alleged racist rules, which inhibit them from having hairstyles such as afros, bantu knots, dreadlocks and braids.

Education authorities are probing the issue, and social media has been unrelenting, criticising the school for its rules. Panyaza Lesufi, the Education MEC for Gauteng confirmed a team is scheduled to visit the school today (Monday), and tweeted: “Leave that with me and my team. It will be done. We won’t disappoint”.

The pupils have told unsettling stories of their experiences at the school, which speak to racial discrimination within its academic space because of their blackness. According to the learners, there are rules and practices (detention) which discourage them from having their hairstyles, expressing their African languages and identities.

Social media has been awash with posts criticising the rules, with users standing up in solidarity with the pupils. Some social media users, who allege to be alumni of the school have also been sharing their natural hair experiences at the school.

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South Africa has been battling with issues around racism, transformation and inclusivity at its educational institutions, particularly in institutions of higher learning. The Pretoria Girls High case highlights that some South African schools still have a problem with African hair, and discriminatory policies and practices still exist. There is need to continue fighting these discriminatory rules and practices.

Social media reactions.