(CTN News) – The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has taken a significant step towards freedom and respecting children’s rights by instructing 437 schools to allow their students to wear casual clothes once a week.
Additionally, the BMA has emphasized the need to ease off on regulations related to students’ hairstyles and ensure that everyone’s styles and preferences are respected.
Acting BMA city clerk Wanthanee Watana issued two orders on June 23, sent to all district offices for relay to schools under their jurisdiction.
Easing Hairstyle Regulations: Promoting Diversity and Individuality
The first order states that students in all BMA schools should be granted one non-uniform day per week, allowing schools to agree with students and their parents regarding the chosen day.
Furthermore, the order ensures that students who find it challenging to wear casual clothing can opt for their physical education or scout/guide uniforms. It emphasizes that schools must ensure the new regulations do not violate students’ gender, faith, or diversity or impede their rights and liberty.
These changes are a response to student activists protesting against mandatory uniforms. The issue gained attention when 15-year-old political activist Thanalop “Yok” Phalanchai was barred from enrolling in Triamudomsuksapattanakarn School due to her refusal to wear a school uniform and her dyed hair, which defied regulations.
Triamudomsuksapattanakarn School declared on June 14 that Thanalop was no longer a student due to her repeated violations of school rules. This incident caused a divide on social media, with conservative parents criticizing her defiance while the liberal side supported her fight for individual rights.
Comparison with Bangkok Christian College’s Policy
Bangkok Christian College (BCC) has implemented “casual Tuesdays” since February, allowing students to express themselves. However, the policy faced resistance from conservatives.
The second order issued by the BMA focuses on hairstyles, emphasizing that schools should reach an agreement with students instead of enforcing a standardized hairstyle. The order instructs schools to respect students’ rights and liberty, preventing mental distress caused by forced haircuts or public embarrassment.
In some cases, teachers have resorted to chopping off students’ hair in front of the entire school during morning assembly as a punishment for not complying with hairstyle rules.
By introducing these progressive measures, the BMA aims to foster an environment that respects students’ rights and promotes individuality.
The decision aligns with the growing global movement to recognize children’s rights and allows them to express their identities while maintaining a conducive learning environment.
Overall, the BMA’s initiative signifies a positive shift towards embracing diversity, empowering students, and ensuring their rights and well-being are upheld in educational settings.