Public school students can now wear dreadlocks to class. Epsy Campbell, the legislator, said that the minister of education has lifted a rule against the hairstyle. The lawmaker said that this guarantees respect to the Afro-Costa Rican population.
The case involves a student at the Liceo de Escazú. Ms. Campbell, who also is Afro-Costa Rican and a lawyer, has campaigned for students in such cases in the past.
Sonia Marta Mora Escalante is the minister of Educación Pública who issued the decree. In addition, the Escazú school has been told to change its internal regulations.
Neither the report from Ms. Campbell nor the brief message from the minister specified whether the change in regulation includes intentional dreadlocks or those naturally occurring for people who do not take care of their hair. Online sources point out that Mayan priests wore their hair matted.
The intentional dreadlocks are identified with the rastafarians, the Jamaica religious group that avoids alcohol and uses marijuana ritually. However, this groups only dates from the 1930s.
Such hairstyles have been found on Egyptian mummies, according to online sources, and Maasai men also wear their hair that way. But so do certain holy men in India.