Toe the line

Anthea de Villiers, Claremont

The current hysteria about hair at schools reminds me of when I was in high school many years ago.

We had to submit to random hair inspections from time to time.

We had to line up in front of a teacher who would march up and down and pick out girls whose hair was not up to standard in terms of the school rules.

Those whose hair was deemed inappropriate were sent to the principal’s office and a stern warning was given as well as a note to take home to parents with instructions to rectify the problem immediately.

This usually meant cutting.

No wispy bits of hair were allowed to frame the face, no loose tendrils or curls were tolerated.

Fringes were not allowed and had to be pinned back.

Hair had to be tied back tightly and neatly.

The emphasis was on the overall appearance, which had to reflect cleanliness and discipline.

No feminine touches were permitted, as this distracted from the clean and orderly image which was required.

We all hated these inspections and felt humiliated and deeply victimised when picked out for having unacceptable hair.

Even worse, random checks were also done to see whether we were wearing the correct school knickers which we all hated and called “passion killers”.

If you were found to be wearing the wrong knickers – well, detention was your fate. Imagine.