, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 17 – The High Court on Wednesday declined to compel Rusinga Preparatory School to admit a student at the centre of a row over dreadlocks.
Judge Mumbi Ngugi declined to issue the orders pending hearing and determination of a case lodged by the student’s mother.
“Since the school has taken a hard-line position, the court is unable to give the temporary order sought,” she ruled.
Judge Ngugi said she will hear the case expeditiously from next Tuesday and give a determination on the issue as soon as possible.
Consequently, she directed the parent, the School and Board of Governors Rusinga School to exchange the relevant documents they intend to rely on during the hearing.
In response to the case, the school says it has a grooming policy which all parents are required to subscribe to when their children are admitted.
Rusinga Preparatory School Principal Nelly Omino told Judge Ngugi that different rules apply for female and male students with respect to hairstyles, which does not amount discrimination.
Omino wants the court to dismiss the petition on grounds that it does not disclose any actual or apprehended violation of any fundamental freedom.
The principal told the court that the rules and regulations are stipulated in accordance with the School’s philosophy and students have the responsibility to adhere to them with parents expected to support them.
The aggrieved parent has accused the school of refusing to admit her son yet he was allowed to sport dreadlocks over the four years that he was attending kindergarten classes.
But the principal explained that “pre- scholars are handled with special sensitivity and understanding because having too many rules and regulations might make a child withdraw.”