Teachers in Thailand have been told to keep their hands off students’ hair and that they have no right to give forced haircuts.
In a statement on Sunday, Thailand’s Education Minister emphasized that teachers do not have the right to cut students’ hair as a punishment for breaking hairstyle rules.
Education minister Ms. Trinuch Thienthong Trinuch said no government regulation allows teachers to punish students who violate hairstyle rules by arbitrarily cutting their hair, which could leave students feeling humiliated.
She said some regulations allow students pursuing specialized studies to have a certain hairdo that meets the demand of their courses, such as dramatic arts and dance.
According to Mrs. Trinuch, permissible punishments against students vary in severity, from verbal warnings to demerit points to having them take part in activities to correct their behavior.
No provision in the rules permits teachers to take matters into their own hands and cut students’ hair as a punishment, said the education minister.
In the classroom, a punitive haircut might be interpreted as an excessively harsh act of punishment or even an act of intimidation to reform student behavior.
Educators need the discipline to impart structure to their classrooms, said Ms. Trinuch.
However, a haircut by the teacher is out of place in schools, as it has nothing to do with fostering a sense of responsibility among students.