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Teachers Told to Stop Punishing Students Over Hairstyle Violations

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The Ministry of Education has asserted that teachers have “no right” to cut students’ hair as punishment for breaking hairstyle rules.

Education Minister Trinuch Thienthong said during a meeting that no ministerial regulation allows teachers to humiliate students who violate hairstyle regulations by arbitrarily trimming or cutting their hair. According to the minister, certain regulations even allow students pursuing specialized studies, such as dramatic arts and dances, to wear specific hairstyles.

Permissible punishments for students range from verbal warnings to demerit points and having them participate in activities to correct misbehavior.

Because there is no provision allowing teachers to take matters into their own hands and cut the student’s hair as a form of punishment, Trinuch said a punitive haircut can be labeled as an overly severe act or even an act of intimidation intended to reform students’ behavior.

For decades, the issue of hairstyle violations has been a source of contention between school administrators and parents. The problem has only gotten worse in recent years, as outraged parents have raised concerns with related governing bodies about whether or not punishing students for hairstyle violations is excessive and will only create resentment.

Trinuch has urged schools and teachers to seek new measures and activities that raise students’ awareness of their roles and responsibilities, as opposed to continuing the punitive practice, in order to prevent future incidents of this nature.

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