Antigua and Barbuda’s Ministry of Education will continue following the school hair policy outlined in the Education Act of 2008.
In its “MoESCI Policy on Student Hair and Related Matters” statement released just three days before the official start of the new academic year, the MoE restated the country’s stance on maintaining a consistent framework for student appearance while allowing individual schools to establish their regulations within these boundaries.
While some Caribbean nations have recently updated their laws to allow students of African descent more freedom in regard to their hair, Antigua and Barbuda’s Ministry of Education has chosen to maintain the current regulations.
The Ministry’s press release advises schools to consider factors such as cleanliness, deportment, and attire while avoiding any discriminatory measures by the Education Act of 2008.
The school policy doesn’t give clear instructions on how students should style their hair. It only serves as a reference for school administrators when making rules.
While the Education Act allows public and private schools to create dress codes and behavior guidelines, the Ministry of Education stresses that these policies must align with its regulations.
The guidelines stress that rules governing hairstyles should not be discriminatory toward natural hair texture, length, or color.
Furthermore, such rules should not pose health risks or distractions to the school community. Schools are advised against implementing strict hair length rules.