Lutterodt calls on Achimota School to rethink decision on Rastafari students

BY: Kwame Larweh
George Lutterodt

Economist and Peace Ambassador, Mr George Haldane Lutterodt, has waded into the debate on why the Achimota Senior High School is insisting that unless two rastafarian students who have gained admission into the school cut their hair, they will not be admitted on campus.

Mr Lutterodt has called for calm, cool heads, and appealed to the Achimota School to consider the plight of the students and allow them to continue their education with the dreadlocks.

Mr Lutterodt has also appealed to Achimota School to consider the African heritage, Blacks and the Rastafari Movement as part of the African culture and admit the two students without forcing them to cut their hair.

“Caucasians are admitted with their hairs, some artificial, some wigs, others natural, no one complains, we Africans also have our hair so why do they deny them,” he said in an interview with Graphic Online on Wednesday in Accra.

Last week two first year students of Achimota Senior High, Tyrone Marguay and Oheneba Nkrabea were ask to cut their hairs before admission into the school.

This did not go down with the parents of the two who have have threatened to sue the school after a directive from the Ghana Education Service (GES) asking the school to admit them did not go through.

Mr Lutterodt noted that the rules and regulations of the school had to be followed but added that the rules were not cast in concrete and stone.

“Times are changing and one must move with the times, it doesn’t mean you are bending the ethics, you cannot be a tyrant,” he stated.

He stressed that the interest of the rastafarian students should be paramount, and that their future and lives must be wholely considered before any action was taken.

“The school should establish whether they are really rastafarians before taking decisions, there must be cultural tolerance, will you accept a sikh or someone else , we are living in an age of cultural tolerance which must be accepted,” he stated.

“The motto of Achimota says, all may be one, and like their Black and White uniform it shows oneness so this rigid stance must be done away with.”
Ambassador Lutterodt recalled that there was a time when a Black could not go to white colleges and schools abroad but that had changed, and Achimota must seriously have something to think about.

Ambassador Lutterodt who is an old student of Achimota Primary School and a former athletics chairman believes Achimota School should tackle this problem with the involvement of the state.

He warned that if care was not taken the students would become a menace to society when they were not allowed to attain the highest level of education.

He mentioned some distinguished personalities in the world who are all rastafarians, and called for a second look at the issue.