We are happy to see the directions from the political directorate that they are now prepared to make changes to prevent hair discrimination. We are prepared to meet with the GOJ / Opposition in this respect. Our sole objective in bringing this action was to prevent what happened to our child from happening to another parent/child. We were not the only family to be faced with this discriminatory rule from schools in Jamaica. In fact, each year children are turned away from many other institutions just because of their natural hair styles.
We wrote to the political directorate (at every level) - before court action was taken - without avail or response. We even wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister last year with absolutely no response. The school was represented at court by the Government, whilst we were forced to hire and retain a lawyer for 2+ long years to assist us with bringing our claim thus far.
Going up against the government seemed like a lost battle, especially when you are just a regular Jamaican citizen trying to live in a country where classism exists. We note with incredulity the attacks on our lawyer - Isat Buchanan's competence and pleadings, but wish to note that we should have never been in court arguing this case from day one. The government lent its expertise (paid for by our tax dollars) to fight this case rather than to seek to resolve the centuries of discrimination encapsulated in a rule that ban locs whilst allowing Eurocentric looks. Such shame!
The GOJ has the power to ensure that our ZV and the many other children with locs can attend freely the schools of their choice with their hair intact. While we await the written judgement from the Supreme Court, the ruling handed down on Friday, July 31,2020 which stated that "my daughter's rights were NOT breached" was not comforting to our family nor to the many Jamaicans out there. We are anxious to know how and why it was “OK” for a government school to turn away an innocent and brilliant 5 year old who passed all her assessments to enter the school. We patiently wait.
On another note stemming from an unofficial quote from "Milton Wray'' and “others” going around regarding the incompetency of our legal representation and circulating false information about who the claimants were on this case, we wish to make it very clear that the team from JFJ who had assisted us in the beginning were and could never have been claimants on our case. In fact, our lawyer Mr. Isat Buchanan, was the lawyer on our case from the very beginning while he was working with the Jamaicans for Justice group. He along with ourselves sat down and prepared those said affidavits and injunctions. Please cease and desist from carrying such incorrect news. The affidavits on the case are public records if you wish to make clarifications.
In closing, my daughter's pressing question to us since Friday now that the injunction filed 2 years ago has been lifted has been this... "Mummy, do I really have to go to a new school or cut my hair off now?" You see, contrary to the news out there, the Kensington Primary that I am now a part is a very good learning institution. Since our horrible and traumatizing experience 2 years ago with the THEN principal, Mrs. Francis and the school board, the school has been under new management (new principal) that seems to be much more harmonious and nothing like the previous. My daughter has been blessed so far with two wonderful grade teachers whom she adores very much.
We have written to the principal of the Kensington Primary School and we await their answer regarding the lifting of the injunction and a place for our ZV at the school without any problem with her locs. We hope we will have an answer from the school and a written judgment from the courts before school reopens.
We thank the public for the support you have shown us. We are deeply grateful in a time like this. We also ask that you continue to help us to continue our fight against hair discrimination by supporting our GoFund Me page by accessing the link below.
We also ask that no one donates to any other pages or petitions circulating claiming to be on our behalf.
Dale and Sherine Virgo