Through change.org, Alissa Hayward started a petition directed towards Minister of Education the Honorable Diallo Rabain, JP, MP, and the Commissioner of Education Kalmar Richards.
The petition, which as of 7:30 p.m. this evening had 39 signatures and counting, is concerning students being able to express themselves how they choose to in public schools.
“ In Bermuda, schools’ codes of conduct have to change from 1950s colonialist systematic conformity,” the petition began. “It should be our right to look in a way that makes us feel confident and comfortable as individuals.
It does not hurt any one, nor does it disrupt anyone’s ability to learn and there is no real grounds for this discrimination, other than ‘it’s been like that for decades.’”
According to the petition, freedom of expression is at the forefront of young people’s healthy development, confidence and overall well-being.
“ [Schools] should be more concerned with creating a safe and healthy learning environment and less focused on how a student chooses to grow their hair or whether they have braids, designs or two lines shaved on the side of their tresses,” the petition continued.
Ms. Hayward stated that her son has been threatened to be removed from his school because of the colour of his hair, even though it is a “natural” tone.
“ [ My son’s] education has suffered disruption at the hands of the administration,” she said in the petition. “ Many others have come forward and shared their past experiences. I am choosing to stand my ground and push for change.”
“ Embrace change and encourage individuality in a respectful manner,” the petition concluded. “ If you agree with any portion of this proclamation, I look forward to having you sign in this movement for change.”
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