Hands off students' hair, teachers told
Education Minister Trinuch Thienthong on Sunday affirmed teachers have no right to cut students' hair as a punishment for breaking hairstyle rules.
Ms Trinuch said there is no ministerial regulation that allows teachers to punish students who violate hairstyle rules by arbitrarily trimming or cutting their hair in a way that leaves students feeling humiliated.
The minister said there are, however, regulations which allow students pursuing specialised studies to carry a certain hairdo which meets the demand of their courses, such as dramatic arts and dances.
Ms Trinuch said permissible punishments against students vary in severity, from issuing verbal warnings, to giving demerit points, to having them participate in activities to correct the misbehaviour.
"Nowhere in the rule book is there a stipulation that lets teachers take the matter into their own hands and cut the student's hair as a form of punishment," the education minister said.
A punitive haircut may be labelled as an excessively severe act or even an act of intimidation intended to reforming student's conduct.
Ms Trinuch said discipline is necessary to impart structure in an education environment.
However, a haircut by the teacher has no place in schools as it has nothing to do with nurturing an awareness of students' roles and responsibilities.