Crowthorne Christian Academy closed after dreadlocks row as EFF pickets outside school

EFF members picketed outside the Crowthorne Christian Academy under police guard after the school forcibly removed a pupil wearing dreadlocks. Picture: Twitter/EFFGauteng

EFF members picketed outside the Crowthorne Christian Academy under police guard after the school forcibly removed a pupil wearing dreadlocks. Picture: Twitter/EFFGauteng

Published Aug 17, 2023


The Crowthorne Christian Academy in Midrand, which is at the centre of a hair row after a schoolgirl was forcefully removed from the school for sporting dreadlocks, has been closed indefinitely.

The dreadlocks were apparently against the school’s hair policy.

According to Sowetan, the school told parents via a text message that it would shut its doors indefinitely.

Reports have also emerged that the school was not registered with the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE).

GDE spokesperson Steve Mabona told Sowetan the 13-year-old pupil had been offered alternative schooling and counselling while the department was “assisting the school to comply and encourage all unregistered institutions to engage with the department for assistance with registration processes”.

Calls to the school went unanswered on Thursday morning as well.

Meanwhile, parents were told to expect a detailed explanation soon after the school was closed on Wednesday, after EFF supporters descended on the school.

The EFF’s Gauteng provincial deputy chairperson Phillip Daniel said the party would not tolerate any unfair policies, “especially ones stinking of racism” after the removal of the 13-year-old pupil for wearing dreadlocks.

The EFF supporters picketed outside the school gates under security surveillance and police guard. They picketed again on Thursday, despite the school being closed.

This week, a viral video of the incident surfaced on social media when school principal Tanya Booysen and a man believed to be her husband were seen barring a pupil from attending class due to her dreadlocks.

The pupil’s parents filmed the incident after the school ordered the pupil leave the school to remove her dreadlocks.

The school's code of conduct on hair, which was shared on social media, states: “All children's hair must be clean and neat. Only natural hair is allowed. Only plain haircuts are permitted. No fashion clippings or shaves are allowed. No hair extensions are permitted.

“No bleaching / colouring / highlights, etc. allowed. Girl's hair must be kept out of the eyes, once it reaches collar length, it must be tied up. Girls may tie up their hair in ponytails, a neat bun or neatly braided hair. (maximum two ponytails or two buns),” it said.

“Girls may only wear red, white or blue hair accessories. (Accessories: ribbons and clips, no beads). Boys' hair must be kept short.”

Dreadlocks are not hair extensions.

The pupil’s sister had taken to social media to show interactions between the school and her parents. It appeared the school had been asking since the end of July for the pupil to remove her dreadlocks, but the parents refused, informing the principal that dreadlocks were natural hair.

Principal Booysen said: “No, she needs to go and remove the extensions. She can return once she adheres to the code of conduct”.

In another text she said: “Good morning N****, I see T****** still has her hair extensions. She needs to go home and can return to school once she adheres to the schools code of conduct. Kind Regards Tanya,” she said in a text.

The parent responded: “I have been telling you there's no hair extensions on my child's hair. It is her own black hair.”

Meanwhile, Gauteng police spokesperson Colonel Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi confirmed to IOL that police were investigating a case of common assault after a complaint was opened for that matter.

No arrests have been made.