Mon, Aug 15, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Students vow to escalate hair fight

GOING ONLINE Students angry that some schools plan to ignore a new policy banning schools from restricting hairstyles threatened to hold a large-scale Web protest

STAFF WRITER

Humanistic Education Foundation Director Feng Chiao-lan, left, accompanied by some students, yesterday holds a press conference in Taipei's Immigration Assembly Hall on the government's new policy of lifting the hairstyle-restriction ban in secondary schools. Feng yesterday expressed strong opposition to secondary schools that have said they will continue to exert authority over students' hairdos despite the new policy.

PHOTO: CHEN TSE-MING, TAIPEI TIMES

Secondary school students yesterday pledged to protest online for their hair rights after several secondary schools said they would not follow a new government policy that bans them from restricting student hairstyles.

An association opposed to regulations on hair and the Humanistic Education Foundation yesterday expressed strong opposition toward secondary schools that have said that they will continue to exert their authority over students' hairdos despite the new policy.

The two groups said that if they fail to receive a positive response from the schools, they will organize an online protest involving at least 80,000 students declaring their hair rights on the association's Web site.

Many junior high schools require boys to keep their hair short, while girls are banned from growing their hair longer than shoulder length, and cannot color or perm it.

The Minister of Education recently banned public schools from issuing restrictions on secondary students' hairstyles.

The association claimed that many schools have sent notices to students saying that hair check-ups will continue as before when the school session starts next month. Some of the notices said that regulations on hairstyles have nothing to do with students' human rights.

"We were surprised to learn that schools have refused to follow the policy and ignored students' rights regarding their hair. We urge the schools to give us a reason to ignore the policy," representatives of the association said.

According to a telephone survey conducted by the association, only four local education bureaus, including Hsinchu County, Taichung City and County, and Tainan County, have said that they will ban schools from restricting hairstyles.

Other bureaus have said that they will stick with schools' previous rules or work out a compromise with students.

Most secondary schools have stated that they will not give up their authority to regulate students' hairstyles, the association said.

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