A Bonteheuwel father says his five-year-old son has been banned from school until he chops his ponytail off.
An angry Shane Parsons says Protea Primary School in Prunus Street initially accepted his son with his long hair, but last week he was told that unless he has a haircut he cannot return.
“Why is it an issue in March when he has been studying there for some time now?” asks Shane.
"I was called into a meeting on Friday and the principal told me that my son must cut his hair or he will not be allowed into the school on Monday. But his hair is short, he only has the ponytail.
“The hair is neat and clean. The principal could not tell me how his hair is affecting my son’s learning ability.
“I chose the school because it is close to us. With all the gangsterism that is happening in Bonteheuwel, my son is safer here.”
Shane says his wife is a hairdresser and always makes sure that the boy’s hair is clean and neatly tied up for school.
“It is 2021, people are stuck in the past. I will not cut my son’s ponytail and he will be allowed to go to school or I will take the matter up with the Department (of Education).”
His son, who is in Grade R, did not go to school on Monday as he fell sick over the weekend.
“When he gets better, I will take him there and see if they will chase him away,” the dad warns.
The Daily Voice took the short walk to the school and met with the principal, Shahida Ryland, who confirmed the boy’s parents have been told to cut his hair.
She said the school’s policy about hair is clear and parents were made aware of this in September 2020 already.
“The parent (Shane) was given the school’s policy, we always send parents the policy and I can give it to you.
“The school’s policy clearly states that boys are not allowed to have ponytails and long hair,” Ryland said.
But according to Shane, this policy was only drafted last week.
“That policy is new, we were told about it last week. When I spoke to the principal, I realised that she was influenced to have that policy, people are just jealous of my child’s hair.”
The Western Cape Education Department said they are looking into the matter.