Hair has more than aesthetic value in various contexts thus it is imperative for academic and social institutions such as schools to comprehend this. Thomas (2013) writes on how “Black women’s hair goes far beyond mere sprucing up and aesthetics, with its history of deep roots in slavery and its politics that change many people’s viewpoints” she argues that “it’s a marker of femininity that can influence how the global society embraces the black woman in both political and social circles.”
Read Part One here
Roles in schools and social institutions are the underlying group structures that indicate the types of behaviours that are expected of individuals who occupy particular positions within the group. Roles in a group aim to establish a pattern of interaction and define responsibilities. The two types of roles in groups namely the Task Role and the Relationship Role are both applicable in this school context. Task role involves performances such as monitoring and development of structures in the school for example, developing a structure in the role that ensures that norms and standards are adhered to as describes in the schools act of 1996. Relationship Task involves the ensuring of cohesiveness of learners and the entire school through strengthening values such as inclusive and diverse culture within the school furthermore to establishing communication networks, providing feedback as needed, planning, motivating compliance, etc.
Leadership refers to the guiding of others “in their pursuits, often by organizing, directing, coordinating, supporting, and motivating their efforts.” In this context leaders are persons who hold some form of authority in the school such as educators, student leaders and members of the school governing body. For the school’s leadership to be successful in its attempt to implement its policy on hair it should find “the right balance between keeping the members working at their tasks and improving relationships and providing guidance without robbing members of their autonomy.
The leadership of schools and other social institutions should ensure they create and maintains a democratic and transformational environment when dealing with the implementation of the hair policy. The leadership of the school should be seen to be “motivated by group-level goals”. In order for that to happen student leaders should play a role in communicating feelings and thoughts of learners regarding the hair policy to the educators and members of the school governing body and the educators should be able to interact with the student representatives on the same level of respect for the status they hold in the school. The school governing body should be seen by learners and advocated for by student leaders as the vanguard of fairness and inclusivness in the school.
The school needs to consider the time it spends on decision making. For example, the school should not rush to change the policy on hair by just asking a few learners to have input, it should take further steps to engage with all the stakeholders of the school and develop multiple approaches to its problem solving. The school may also not have the professional ability to handle this matter on their own hence it is important to involve professionals such as sociologists to ensure the successful implementation of the new policy. Such professionals can also reduce cognitive limitations which involves the misuse of information when taking decisions which leads to failure to implement decisions. These factors hamper the cohesiveness of the group which involves parties responsible for effective decision making when dealing with race issues in the school such us the student leaders, educators, the department of education, parents and other members of the community where the school is located.