News clipping – iol-online – 17 September 2010

Shaving row school “in the right”.

A children’s rights activist has come to the defense of a Cape Town school under fire for insisting a pupil trim his budding moustache and side burns.

Rondebosch High School has ordered 14-year old Mashilo Jones to comply with the school rule that pupils be clean-shaven and says he could be expelled if he does not follow suit.

However his mother, Letebele, told a daily newspaper she would not allow him to shave until he is older as his hair would only grow back thicker and quicker.

Activist Pene Kimber, one of the founders of a website set up to combat abuse such as bullying in schools, said she believed it was wrong of Jones’ mother to go to the media on the issue.
“This is another form of bullying. It’s coming from the other side.”

Kimber said her sons had attended Rondebosch and the school had an “exceptional” approach to discipline. It was one of the few schools in South Africa that abided by both the SA Schools Act and its own code of conduct.
“It’s all done absolutely perfectly,” she said.

Kimber said the code laid down clearly that boys had to be clean-shaven. The fact that Jones was only fourteen was irrelevant.

“If this person gets away with it, the code of conduct means nothing,” she said. - Sapa