South African School Rescinds Natural Hair Ban After Student Protests

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Protests from students at Pretoria Girls High in South Africa have spawned a major victory. Rules banning girls from wearing their hair in natural hairstyles have been suspended, according to BBC News.

Students say they were not allowed to wear afros and were told to straighten their hair. Their protests went viral and quickly garnered support with the hashtag #StopRacismatPretoriaGirlsHigh.

The school as not issued a statement but the province's education minister, Panyaza Lesufi, has launched an investigation into the girls' allegations of racism.
The uprising was not just about the contested hairstyles. The Guateng Department of Education outlined their grievances in a note on Facebook which include the mocking of African languages and the inappropriate response of school officials to objections.

Pretoria Girls High is a prestigious girls high school founded in 1902. It has a code of conduct that outlines guidelines for grooming and dress; however, afros are not mentioned in it.

In the meeting between state and school officials, the school was urged to issue an "unqualified apology" for its actions.

A petition calling for an end to racism at Pretoria High has gathered 25,000 signatures.