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Supreme Court: Police Office ban on dreadlocks is unconstitutional

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Posted: Friday, January 29, 2021. 1:52 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: The Supreme Court of Belize has ruled that the decision to ban officers from having dreadlocks is unconstitutional.

KREM News reports that Justice Sonya Young handed down the verdict today, after seven female police officers who had been internally disciplined for having dreadlocks, took the matter to court.

The issue was raised back in 2019 when the Department initially issued a warning to the officers that dreadlocks were a prohibited hairstyle under the standing orders of the department.

Police Commissioner Chester Williams said at that time that the officers were being disciplined because they knew ahead of time about the rule and chose to go against it.

The win against hair discrimination today comes at a time where Belizeans at home and abroad are voicing their outrage over a Belmopan City Council employee who was disciplined for having a natural hairstyle at work. The judicial precedent set in court today will serve to assist employers going forward when making policies regarding hairstyles in the workplace.

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