A Rastafarian couple who cook with dagga and whose son was suspended from classes after a positive drug test, claim the school acted unlawfully by failing to first obtain their permission for the test to be done.
Jerome and Yvonne Brown, of Uitenhage, are desperate to get their son Jah-Rynomo back into school after his suspension almost a year ago.
Jah-Rynomo, 17, has not attended the Bergsig Special School in Uitenhage since April.
He was suspended after the test before an out-of-town athletics event which his parents claim was conducted illegally because they were only told about it afterwards.
Jerome Brown, 51, a leader of the Nelson Mandela Bay Rastafarian movement who also sells Rastafarian gear and fruit and vegetables, claims the school said there was no space for his son when he tried to get him back into class.
Brown said Jah-Rynomo was worried that he would have to spend another year at home. He believed his son’s right to an education had been violated.
“The problem started in April last year when my son was chosen to represent the school in athletics in Limpopo,” Brown said.
“The principal, whom we know as Mr D Wolmarans, conducted a drug test without following proper procedures.
“He [Jah-Rynomo] was found with ganja [dagga] in his body and I went to the school to explain that he does not smoke ganja, but that we cook everything with ganja at home – hence it was found in his system.
“I also explained that he suffers from asthma and the asthma pipe does not help him so he has to drink water that is mixed with ganja.”
Brown said the school had initially accepted his son, knowing he was a Rastafarian.
According to Rastafarian belief, dagga is a gateway to understanding.
Brown said when they were told that their son would no longer be permitted to go to Limpopo, they were fine with it.
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