Trinity College graduand on hair code proposals: I’m proud of my year group

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Trinity College, Moka, students stand outside their graduation ceremony at All Saints Church, Marli Street, Port of Spain. –

ONE Trinity College, Moka, graduand who was recently prevented from crossing the stage at his graduation ceremony because of his hairstyle supports the newly proposed national hair policy.

He said he is proud of himself and his year group for the stance they took, and that it led to positive changes.

On June 27, form five and six students of the Anglican school in Maraval graduated at the All Saints Anglican Church, Port of Spain.

A Facebook post by a relative of one of the students, which went viral, said several male students were “segregated.”

This was accompanied by a photo showing the hairstyles of these students, which included plaits, canerows and short curls.

The school’s rules say students’ hair must be “short, neat and appropriate for school as determined by the college.”

Many people slammed the school for the incident, but it has since denied it was a matter of discrimination, saying students must follow rules.

Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly said the incident was unfortunate and regrettable.

Ministry representatives and stakeholders met on July 6 to discuss the way forward on hair policies at school.

In a later release, the ministry said a national school hair code is to come into effect for the new academic term, 2023/2024.

The proposed rules will allow students to wear locs, twists, plaits, afros and cane rows, as well as weaves and braids for female students.

One graduand, who preferred not to be named, told Newsday he saw the proposal, and is “all for it.

“(I’m) happy future generations won’t be bothered by this (old) rule and can have the freedom to express their individuality from the next school term onwards.”

He added, “I’m actually glad that it was my year group that helped make the change. I’m quite happy and at peace knowing that we made a change for the future generation of students.

“It was a pleasure of mine to help.”

Many have since praised the students affected by the incident for challenging what they called “archaic” hair policies in Trinidad and Tobago.