5 Centimeter Bangs

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While browsing the Korea Times this morning, I came across this article on laws and rules governing the length of student’s hair. In America, there is the occasional controversy over boys having “girlishly” long hair at school but this was governing every student. Apparently, such guidelines are defended because they “keep its students away from entertainment outlets for adults in its vicinity by making them easily recognizable as students.” That means 5 centimeter bangs for girls (can that be right?) and forced trims if your hair doesn’t meet requirements.

While browsing the Korea Times this morning, I came across this article on laws and rules governing the length of student’s hair. In America, there is the occasional controversy over boys having “girlishly” long hair at school but this was governing every student. Apparently, such guidelines are defended because they “keep its students away from entertainment outlets for adults in its vicinity by making them easily recognizable as students.” That means 5 centimeter bangs for girls (can that be right?) and forced trims if your hair doesn’t meet requirements.

The counterargument: cutting student’s hair without their consent is a human rights issue. And I agree. It might not be as bad as say, killing/jailing/torturing people for expressing opinions against Dear Leader in North Korea but it is most certainly a violation of the student’s rights. The counterargument is weak at best; adult venues should be carding minors they believe to be inappropriately trying to gaining entrance. Not to mention the fact that most of these students seem to have zero free time to get into such shenanigans. If they aren’t in school, hagwon, taekwondo, piano lessons or studying they are helping out their family. The little free time available gets devoted to the television, computer or gaming systems.

I will have to ask my co-teacher what she thinks about hair guidelines as she is both a parent and a teacher.



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