The National Human Rights Commission has again spoken out against the stiff regulations many Korean public schools have on students’ hair and dress. This time it has gotten nine schools to experiment with relaxed rules.
The National Human Rights Commission (국가인권위원회) is taking on the issues of student punishment as well as forcible hair cuttings and clothing restrictions.
On the 21st the NHRC announced that the second Schools’ Human Rights Education Conference (학교인권교육협의회) began, composed of 16 educational boards around the countrywide, the Ministry of Education and Science (교육과학기술부), the Ministry of Health and Family (보건복지가족부), and 16 other organizations, and for the expansion of students’ rights will consider alternatives to searches of students’ belongings, corporal punishment and group punishments.
The NHRC explained, “on the issues that students care about most — hairstyles and uniforms — city and provincial education offices will end forced haircuts and excessive uniform regulations and this will be tested first in selected schools.”
The Commission added that to strengthen teachers’, students’, and parents’ understanding of human rights, nine schools have been appointed for human rights education research conducted by the NHRC. Of the nine schools one is in Ulsan, six are in Gyeonggi-do, one is in Jeju-do, and one is in Gyeongsangbuk-do.
The NHRC said that the Chungcheongnam-do Office of Education plans to create a special aid team to consult directly with schools whenever a problem over numan rights arises.
Along with those plans the NHRC will work with city and provincial education offices to strength students’ rights by: disseminating a guide to establishing a rights-friendly school culture; having education boards put human rights content on the internet; and holding educational rights workshops.
Last year Kuki News took a look at the aftermath of forced haircuts.
Update: You can also watch this Youtube video made by Korean students to protest the situation.