St Mark Obambo Secondary School A 17-year old Kenyan student was turned away by her school for having 'long hair'

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It is not the first time the school has been in the limelight over issues to do with long hair

play Sharon Akinyi (The Standard )

A Kenyan school girl's dream of securing a place in Form One seem bleak after being turned away from school on grounds of having long hair.

17-year old Sharon Akinyi was on Tuesday rejected by St Mark Obambo Secondary School in Kisumu West after she refused to have her head shaved insisting that it was against her faith.

“I can’t betray my God to satisfy earthly needs," Akinyi told local newspaper The Standard.

This despite Rule number 11 in the student’s guiding regulations stating: “All students must be tidy, hair cut short and well groomed.”

So adamant was Akinyi on her faith that she quoted a Bible verse to support the reason behind her long hair.

“1st Corinthians Chapter 11, verses 14 to 15 says: Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering.”

The first born in a family of four maintained that she would stick to ‘the word’ if that was what it would take to sacrifice her education.

Akinyi’s guardian Jacob Odongo said he got a call that the girl had been turned away even after complying with all the other requirements, which included payment of Sh5,000 for a lunch programme.

The girl insisted that if she failed to get a place in Form One, she would rather find a favourable course in the local polytechnic or stop her quest for higher education and serve God.

The school's principal, through his secretary, indicated that he was not ready to speak to the media while a teacher at the school who did not want to be quoted, said the school had a policy on long hair because of the hot and dusty environment.

It is not the first time the school has been in the limelight over issues to do with long hair. In 2014, yet another student was suspended on the same groounds.

Lucy Awino, who was in Form Four, said she and other students were sent home after the management linked poor performance to long hair.

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