Ministry lifts 'unfair' rules on hairstyles

Ministry lifts 'unfair' rules on hairstyles

Military-style buzz cuts for boys and pudding-bowl cuts for girls will no longer be a must at schools run by the Education Ministry, minister Treenuch Thienthong says. (Bangkok Post File Photo)
Military-style buzz cuts for boys and pudding-bowl cuts for girls will no longer be a must at schools run by the Education Ministry, minister Treenuch Thienthong says. (Bangkok Post File Photo)

The Ministry of Education has lifted its restrictions on how schools manage rules on hairstyles and will allow each to formulate their own policy, with student input if they wish.

Education Minister Trinuch Thienthong said on Tuesday that the decision followed widespread opposition from some academics, parents and students including the recent protests led by the "Bad Students" group of youngsters demanding freedom from hairstyle restrictions they labelled unfair and outdated.

She said the cancelled hairstyle regulations, last updated in 2020, allowed male students to have longer styles but still imposed limits on the length and prohibited some fashions such as perms and colouring.

Despite the extra freedoms allowed in 2020, many schools still forced their students to stick to the old regulations, according to Bad Students, as schools were still left to decide how much freedom to offer their students.

Following calls for the cancellation of the 2020 student hairstyle regulations, the ministry sought advice from the Council of State and was assured that it has the authority to decide on any changes to the regulations, said the education minister.

She, therefore, on Jan 16 signed an order to terminate the 2020 rules which have already been published in the Royal Gazette.

A circular has accordingly been sent informing schools of this and the ministry's recommendation that schools develop their own new guidelines to better suit all parties, said the minister.

This means all schools under the ministry's jurisdiction will have to hold a hearing which involves input from students and parents on how best to proceed, said the minister.

All new guidelines will still require final approval by each school, she said.

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