Principal Andre van der Merwe now says pupils allowed to wear doekies at the school
Parents of Muslim high school girls piemped the principal to authorities after he wouldn’t allow their daughters to wear doekies at school.

Principal Andre van der Merwe, of Queens Park High in Woodstock, who had apparently first allowed girls to wear maroon scarves to match their uniforms, suddenly changed his mind when Ramadaan started just over two weeks ago.

Mother, Washielah Davids says her Grade 9 daughter has always worn a scarf to school.

“I do not understand what is happening now. The principal never had a problem with it before.

“Last year, for the entire year, my daughter wore her maroon scarf,” the mother says.

Father of two, Muhsin Hendricks, says his daughters are always gedoek.

“I do not care what people think, but during the fast they need to cover their heads.

“When my eldest daughter came home to say she cannot wear her scarf to school anymore because the principal said so, I called and he was not available,” says Muhsin.

“The person on the phone just told me to send a letter to request it. Since when do we need permission for our girls to wear scarves to school?”

Washiela says she also wrote a letter.

“Now all of a sudden when we ask permission, we are not worthy of answers from him. Alles innie pwasa, no man,” says the upset mother.

The Daily Voice contacted Van der Merwe, who listened and then directed all queries to a Mr Van de Rheede at the district office.

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) says all children are free to practice their religions at school, and that includes wearing scarves.

Spokesperson for the WCED, Millicent Merton, said a meeting was held with Van der Merwe and confirms that pupils at Queens Park High will not be refused to wear scarves at school.

“The principal indicated that, in line with the school’s dress code, the learners are allowed to wear scarves,” Merton said yesterday.

Muhsin said he will wait and see what happens today when his daughters go to school.

“I will wait for the announcement or see what happens today when I get home from work. My girls will tell me.”

Pupils at the school made headlines in September 2016 when they protested against what they called favouritism and racism by the school governing body and the principal.

Seven pupils were suspended after testing positive for drugs, but only two of them, whose parents apparently serve on the SGB, were allowed back in class.