My Family; My Joy
As much as love exists, hate pierces through our lives and activities with all the robustness and mightiness that it can master. As the saying goes, every person has an enemy who never loves see one progress. That’s why you will find prejudice and discrimination of people in the societies that we live in; in workplaces, schools, in events such as sports etc. I had one experience combating discrimination of my son at school and it was a very emotional experience.
I’m Paul Hewett, 32 and married and working in the entertainment industry. I’ve got two sons one aged 3 and the other 6. Because of the nature of my work, I usually spot afro hairstyle, something which is much used to identify me and has become part of my work life. My wife is a model working in the fashion industry and she very much supportive and loves me as I am.
When our son was young, we decided to let him grow his hair instead of having a haircut just like other boys because he always wanted me to look like me. He always admired my hair as well as my wife’s and there was no reason to let him spot too. It was a burden to us especially my wife, to have him learn how to groom his hair and keep it clean – a fight which we successfully managed.
When it was time for him to go to school, we enrolled him at our local elementary school which also has a kindergarten program and there’s his life of formal education began. We got happy every time he came home smiling having learnt something new or talked of friends that he met and made. Being a social boy, it was always joy for us to know that he was progressing well.
By the end of the year, he made us proud for doing well in class and graduated to proceed to the next level. During the Christmas holiday, he would often talk about his friend at school and sometimes when out for picnic we would bump on one or two of his friends whom he would gladly greet. He gave us the opportunity of meeting some of his friends’ parents which was also good for our business, especially my wife.
When the schools were reopened in January, I took him to school only to be greeted with a letter which indicated that the school wouldn’t allow him back unless he had a haircut. That was quite disappointing. The school’s administration went ahead to point out that they feared that he would paint a bad culture of the school and negatively influence other kids.
Getting my son to have a haircut against his wish was something I was not ready for. I felt that the school was doing injustice in discriminating against him. Having him transferred to another school wasn’t a good idea too. I hated that he would have to start a new life which would negatively affect his studies. Thus, the only option was to fight back.
I tried in vain to get the school’s management reverse their decision in vain. With no option left, I went to court and luckily, I sought an injunction which restrained the school from turning the boy away and they were compelled to have been back until the case was determined.
The court process took several months and I almost gave up, though the love for my son kept me pushing through. After six months when the case was finally determined, I was glad that the ruling was done in my favor. I had won and the boy was to study there. However, it is my prayers that the teachers should be considerate and not discriminate against him any longer especially because they lost the case and were compelled to accept the boy and pay up for the damage caused – both emotional and financial.