• He indicated the other hairstyles listed by the NAGRAT president cannot be attributed to any religion
• Carbonu’s status should not reduce the court judgement to permitting all sorts of hairstyles in school
Wayo Ghanamanti, the lawyer for the two Rastafarian students who were denied enrolment into Achimota School for refusing to cut their dreadlocks, has descended heavily on Angel Carbonu, President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) for belittling the ruling of Justice Gifty Agyei Addo, ordering Achimota School to enrol the students.
According to him, the NAGRAT president’s comments are completely out of place as his interpretations of the court’s decision is misinformed.
Angel Carbonu in an earlier interview with Accra-based Joy FM had said, teachers will not lose a single hair on the judgement delivered by Justice Gifty Addo.
He explained, “We raised concerns that let us obey school rules. That if you take your child to school, obey school rules. If the court feels that the school rules are not necessary, so be it. I don’t think teachers will lose a single hair on this. But let us also not limit this to Rasta, any form of hairdo should be allowed in the school and I will admonish my members that you don’t go and say they said Rasta, that will be a very myopic way of looking at it.
“Any form of hairdo, Mohican hairdo – is a hairdo, Rasta is a hairdo, bushy afro hair is a hairdo, ‘sakora’ is hairdo. We don’t have to waste our time on some of these things. People can wear suits, smocks. For those who want to walk barefooted to school, your duty is to teach Geography, Maths, English language and all the other subjects. That is the extension and that is my understanding of the ruling.”
This, lawyer Ghanamanti said, the other hairstyles listed by the NAGRAT president cannot be attributed to any religion per his current information, unlike Rastafarianism which was established in court.
He explained, “everything he said is not what the court has said. The court is not saying that anybody should go and be in Mohican or wear togas around. What he [Carbonu] was talking about are abstract matters. If you want to go to Achimota School with your Jerry curls, you must establish upon what basis that religion has come to stay.
“It wasn’t in dispute in court that Rastafarianism is a religion and it wasn’t in dispute. Even Achimota School represented by Prof Aryeetey, a former Vice-Chancellor of a university in this country, didn’t dispute that Rastafarianism is a religion.”
The lawyer could not comprehend why Angel Carbonu, a man of his standing, would reduce the court’s order to permitting all sorts of hairstyles that hold no religious basis.
“Why will Mr Carbonu come and belittle this huge evidential matter that the court reasoned around to jerry curls and Mohican hair? This is very unfortunate for a man who is the President of NAGRAT. We are disappointed in such senior citizens and their way of thinking in this country,” he stressed.
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