Cops dish out schoolboy haircuts

18 October 2019 | Education

A group of Mariental High School boys had a rude awakening this week when they were forcibly shorn of their hip-hop hairstyles.

According to school principal Albertus Stein this unusual treatment was prompted by a plea from a mother who was at her wits' end and had complained several times to the learner representative council (LRC) that her son was refusing to cut his hair.

Stein told Namibian Sun that the mother had also approached the police, who arrived at the school just as the LRC was about the shave the boy's hair.

“The boy felt it was unfair that he was singled out, so others who had also refused to cut their hair were also called out and shaved.

The police got involved through the parents and the life skills teacher, and I thought the police came to conduct a search, because sometimes they arrive unannounced,” he said.

Meanwhile the police had a field day, ordering boys to kneel and have their hair cut.

Photos of the incident were posted on social media, much to Stein's frustration.

“Taking photos and putting them on social media was done without my knowledge and permission.

“That was not the purpose, the purpose was just the assistance that was asked,” he said. Hardap regional commander, John Lifasi, said the police had been summoned to restore order because there were apparently “problems” at the school.

He said he reprimanded the officers involved for taking pleasure in disciplining the learners. “I had a meeting with the station and unit commanders and the issue I addressed was the conduct of the police. Police officers should not take pleasure in putting unnecessary things on social media. It only damages the image of the police,” he said.

Although some parents were unhappy, most of those responding to the pictures posted online were impressed by the police.

One parent said: “The hairstyles of some children these days are something else. Some even have an Afro comb in their heads and every minute he is busy combing his hair. When does he concentrate on his work if combing is all he does?”

Another said he would welcome a visit by the police, because his son was also refusing to get a haircut.

On the other hand, another parent said: “That is so wrong. I would sue them. My body, my choice is one of the children's rights.”

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