Pupils in hair-raising protest

Pupils in hair-raising protest

A group of school students on Friday protested against teachers who continue to enforce rigid haircut requirements, despite new ministerial guidelines permitting them to have different hairstyles.

The youngsters, who facetiously dub themselves the "Bad Student" group, lodged a petition calling for action against the teachers to Prasert Boonruang, permanent secretary of the Education Ministry.

Ten of the group's members also staged a symbolic demonstration in Bangkok by cutting the hair of a female student to ear level.

"We want to show that this [hairstyle] represents students in the country who are unfairly treated," said Lannapat Wangpaisit, a Mathayom 6 student and member of the group.

The students in the petition noted that some teachers in 312 state-run schools still order male students to have military-style haircuts if they are perceived to have long hair. The Education Ministry in March issued a new rule permitting boys to have longer hair.

"The buzz-cut and [other] extremely short hairstyles affect the feelings of students," the group said. "It shows that we do not have rights over our body."

The group demanded that the Education Ministry urge teachers not to violate the rights of students.

Mr Prasert agreed to look into the matter.

"Every school needs to comply with the new rules and must not use the old one," he said. "The ministry will send a letter to every school to disseminate this new rule again.

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