What’s This About?
Regulations that dictate how a student can style their hair will be abolished next year in middle and high schools across Seoul. Students will gain the right to grow their hair as long as they want, and they will be able to perm and dye their hair as well. Is this a step in the right direction?
This house believes that students should have any hairstyle they want.
These outdated regulations violate basic human rights. They are vestiges of the Japanese imperial era, and these traditions were upheld by the strict administrations of Rhee Syngman and Park Chung-hee. According to Cho Hee-yeon, the superintendent of the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education (SMOE), “Choosing which hairstyle to adopt is a part of the right of self-determination, and it should be guaranteed as a basic human right.” Some parents and teachers oppose this decision, arguing that students will become distracted by self-indulgence. However, many other developed countries do not enforce hair restrictions on their students, and they are doing just fine. Furthermore, in 2020, SMOE will allow students to wear comfortable uniforms. Korean students are under immense pressure, so these means of self-expression can alleviate some of that built-up stress. Therefore, these changes are definitely a step in the right direction.
Schools enforce hairstyle restrictions so that students can focus on what actually matters: their education. If you take away these regulations, some students will take advantage of their new-found freedom. They’ll style their hair ridiculously just to spite their teachers or disobey their parents. If students show up to class with neon green hair or sky-high updos, fellow classmates will get distracted. Lectures will fail to proceed, and students will start spending a large portion of their time styling their hair instead of studying. In the United States, students are frequently penalized for having unruly hairstyles. A student in Michigan caused quite a commotion at school when she decided to dye her hair bright pink. Another student was suspended for shaving musical notes into his hair. Children are very impressionable, so they might even try to emulate the flamboyant hairstyles of K-pop stars.