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Rastafarian boy, Chikayzea Flanders wins racial discrimination case against Fulham Boys School

  • In 2017, the school told Chikayzea Flanders to shave his locs or remain in isolation
  • His mother, Tuesday Flanders raised a equality campaign against Fulham Boys School, London
  • Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) Lawyers gave evidence of the school's discrimination
  • A court ruled that the "dreadlock ban" was indirect discrimination against Chikayzea
  • Fulham boys school accepts ban was ‘indirect discrimination’ against Chikayzea Flanders

On the first day of a new school, a teacher told the 12 year old that his tied up locs were against the uniform policy. To remain at that school, Chikayzea's would need to cut his afro-textured hair.

His mother, Tuesday Flaunders explained locs are a fundamental part of Rastafarian beliefs.

Supporters including activists Juilet and Adrian Ryan protested outside the school. Demanding for the strict uniform policy to accept all religions, faiths and cultures.

Due to Chikayzea's distress, he left to attend a nearby academy instead after a month.

The legal action funded by EHRC resulted in a win for Chikayzea and his family.

Now 13 years old, Chikayzea, and his mother have reached an agreement with the school. According to the family’s lawyers, Steel and Shamash Solicitors:

"both sides accepting that the school’s enforcement of its uniform policy and ban on dreadlocks resulted in indirect discrimination”.

Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, David Isaac said:

"At the heart of this issue is a young boy who is entitled to express his religious beliefs and access an education."

Ordered by the County Court, the school must pay for the litigation costs of Flauders family. And reach a settlement with Chikayzea and his mother, Tuesday Flanders.

The Governors’ Complaints Resolution Committee ordered the school review it's uniform policy. Also, equality and diversity training must be given to the school’s staff and governors.

Fulham Boys School would like to invite him back, with the condition that he ties his locs up.

Pleased with the verdict, Tuesday Flanders said:

"As parents we place our trust in schools and teachers to help mould our children’s lives through education, but that should never place restrictions on their identity or their ability to express their religious beliefs.

"We are grateful to the Equality and Human Rights Commission and Steel & Shamash Solicitors for their support and would like to make sure that communities know that their identity and religious beliefs matter and they cannot be forced to change these to access education.’

The result of this case may encourage schools in the UK to update their uniform policies.

Equality and Human Rights Commission funded this case from their legal support project. This project ensure that children in education are not discriminated against.

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