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  • Brian
  • Featured Contributor

    • 735

    • September 19, 2006, 01:07:56 pm
    • Pittsburgh / Jeollanam-do
Students punished for having brown, curly hair.
« on: March 30, 2008, 01:30:01 pm »
From the Hankyoreh, translated by Korea Beat.  Pretty ugly stuff.  Here's a few excerpts:

Quote
Jeon, who is 16 and a first-year student at a girls’ high school in Seoul, cannot forget her first day there. On the first day of school — the 3rd — she could not open the school doors. She had to stand in front of them for over 40 minutes.

The naturally brown-haired Jeon was suspected of having dyed her hair and was berated. She told the teacher that, “this is my natural hair color” but to no avail. Her mother came to the school over this problem and was told, “you must bring proof that this is her natural hair color.” As a new student Jeon does not have a student ID and has been punished from that day forward.

Curly hair is treated the same. Lee, 17 and a student at a high school in Seoul, was ordered to cut his hair. He said, “even though I explained that I was born with curly hair, the teacher told me that perms are not allowed and in the end I had to cut it really short. At our school we don’t have photo IDs so I had no choice except to cut it short.”

Recently schools have been requiring students with naturally colored or curly hair to obtain proof. Students with naturally-colored hair must get confirmation from their parents and teacher and keep the proof with them when they go to school. A large number of schools in Seoul, including Ilshin girls’ High School, Gyeonggi Girls’ High School, Daewon Girls’ High School, Dongmyeong Girls’ High School, and Seomun Girls’ High School, issue the ID cards.

Quote
The “natural hair ID cards” are a “solution” to the issue. But there are many schols which don’t have the cards yet have no problems, so there appear to be no significant results from them, because the educational authorities’ call for “curly or colored hair” as the enforcement standard exposes a cramped view of standardization. Already in our society 1 in 8 marriages are international. Perhaps in the future students will also need “natural skin color ID cards” and “natural eye color ID cards”.

Read the rest here: http://koreabeat.com/?p=870

I find this a pretty serious issue, and one I'll be bringing up at my teacher workshops this week.  It goes beyond just dress codes and regulations on cosmetics and dye-jobs in schools (all of which I support by the way), but goes to ways Koreans imagine themselves to look, imagine their ethnicity and genetic make-up.  And in a province where a high percentage of marriages are international, it's an alarming trend.  Sadly, I think I know how some of my coworkers will respond to this news.

Here's a picture of an ID card, from Daum:

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  • Arsalan Lavang
  • Lord Admin

    • 2053

    • September 18, 2006, 02:00:00 pm
    • Alberta
    more
Re: Students punished for having brown, curly hair.
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2008, 03:22:41 pm »
This problem seemed to appear a lot in the high-school (with the boys only) I used to teach, however not in the middle school.  Maybe the general attitude is to prep the boys for the army, or to stress the teacher's authority over the students?

It's a little much in my opinion.  You'd think school teachers wouldn't be unfamiliar with reason and common sense.

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Re: Students punished for having brown, curly hair.
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2008, 02:48:24 pm »
Well, what can I say?  This doesnt surprise me at all.  Rather, I'm surprised the kids aren't more actively punished for their appearance (however natural it may be).
My school I guess is pretty relaxed compared to these places.  Kids can dye their hair as long as it's a variation of a korean'esque colour.  Some kids go around with redish hair, brownish hair, and even one kid dyed his hair actual-black (as opposed to the natural very-dark-brown Korean colour).  Also, if you have a "reason" to have long hair, somehow this legitimizes leniancy.  The kids in the school rock band and the magician are allowed longer hair because of "performing!"  (the answer one kid gave).
But a growing trend, more popular than a monk-cut or a military-cut, seems to be a preference by the teachers for the kids to have a mushroom-cut.  Yes, that's right, the atrocious 90's mushroom-cut. ...I love that the kids call it a 귀두-것 (Head-of-the-penis-cut) hahaha.  They're aware of the ugliness.

An introduction written by a student (I kept it cos of the awesomeness):
"My hairstyle is look like mushroom and I don't like this hairstyle.  Would you join me?  If you cut your hair like me, I'm happy."
(exceptional english skills if I do say so myself)

Anywa, I got off topic...
Where was I?  Oh yes, Koreans are kinda stupid. :)  They just don't know that people look different from one another.  Nothing shows this more than looking at class photos.


  • Virginia
  • Featured Contributor

    • 93

    • September 19, 2006, 01:20:41 pm
    • Suncheon
Re: Students punished for having brown, curly hair.
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2008, 03:07:37 pm »
The school I worked at for 6 years in Canada had a dress code that regulated shoes, hair, shirt length, bagginess of pants (no jeans allowed), piercings etc. The idea was pretty much that the kids could dress or look however they wanted from 4pm to 8am, but from 8am to 4pm, they had to look a certain way....
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  • Arsalan Lavang
  • Lord Admin

    • 2053

    • September 18, 2006, 02:00:00 pm
    • Alberta
    more
Re: Students punished for having brown, curly hair.
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2008, 09:09:12 pm »
You can add a poll, it should be an option beside reply and such.  If you're having trouble, let me know what you want to put there.
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  • karenology
  • Veteran

    • 239

    • October 03, 2010, 06:00:08 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Students punished for having brown, curly hair.
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2011, 09:34:58 am »
Well, what can I say?  This doesnt surprise me at all.  Rather, I'm surprised the kids aren't more actively punished for their appearance (however natural it may be).
My school I guess is pretty relaxed compared to these places.  Kids can dye their hair as long as it's a variation of a korean'esque colour.  Some kids go around with redish hair, brownish hair, and even one kid dyed his hair actual-black (as opposed to the natural very-dark-brown Korean colour).  Also, if you have a "reason" to have long hair, somehow this legitimizes leniancy.  The kids in the school rock band and the magician are allowed longer hair because of "performing!"  (the answer one kid gave).
But a growing trend, more popular than a monk-cut or a military-cut, seems to be a preference by the teachers for the kids to have a mushroom-cut.  Yes, that's right, the atrocious 90's mushroom-cut. ...I love that the kids call it a 귀두-것 (Head-of-the-penis-cut) hahaha.  They're aware of the ugliness.

An introduction written by a student (I kept it cos of the awesomeness):
"My hairstyle is look like mushroom and I don't like this hairstyle.  Would you join me?  If you cut your hair like me, I'm happy."
(exceptional english skills if I do say so myself)

Anywa, I got off topic...
Where was I?  Oh yes, Koreans are kinda stupid. :)  They just don't know that people look different from one another.  Nothing shows this more than looking at class photos.

Resurrecting this topic to say that I love that your school has a "magician" kid :)

When my kids got back from winter break, they had an announcement over the loudspeakers regarding the "hair dye" issue.  Guess some of the kids were guilty of violating that rule, though I couldn't really tell.  How do Korean schools typically deal with kids whose hair just naturally lightens according to how much sun they get?   I'm Asian-American, and my hair turns pretty brown in the summer. 


Re: Students punished for having brown, curly hair.
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2011, 09:45:30 am »
My kids have red and brown hair and one girl had a really bad perm.  They all have ridiculous haircuts.  High school boys make me feel bad for high school girls.  (One kid came back today with an asymmetrical haircut that is curly.  It does not look good.)


Re: Students punished for having brown, curly hair.
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2011, 09:50:34 am »
Not too long ago all Korean girls had to have a bob going into middle school :o

I'm in elementary school and luckily we have no such rules, as one kid turned up today with green hair, he got it bleached then dyed green and hes only in 3rd grade! All the teachers are taking pictures with him on their cell phones!  :laugh:

Personally I think its crazy, what difference does it make what they look like as long as they are quiet and study.


Re: Students punished for having brown, curly hair.
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2011, 10:35:29 am »
im not sure how many international marriages lead to brown or curly hair, i thought those kids were doomed to outcast status anyways

schools here have an even more explicit role in socializing students than any school i attended.  some of my teachers have told me that students need to clean the school so that they can learn how to clean their own homes in the future.  i'm predicting some really dirty apartments in twenty years.  i'd like to see a focus on actually cleaning, as opposed the weekly punishment sessions for wearing slippers outside.

one of my co-teachers said that having dyed hair makes girls look like  'gangsters.'  i always expect them to say something about sexual promiscuity, but they never do.  personally, i think it usually looks like shit.

lastly, i find it ironic that my american friends have been falling all over themselves to have straight black hair for the last ten years, and here everyone is bending over backwards to have permed light colored hair



  • adamwatch
  • Super Waygook

    • 337

    • February 03, 2010, 10:47:27 pm
    • seoul
Re: Students punished for having brown, curly hair.
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2011, 10:49:12 am »
What about a child who shaves all their hair off. I wonder how that would go down.

Adam


Re: Students punished for having brown, curly hair.
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2011, 11:05:43 am »
i spent some time working in a catholic high school back home in canada and honestly i was surprised to see how much time was spent dealing with "attire, personal grooming" issues.
teachers had to constantly nag students to "tuck in their shirts"  etc. etc.

teens are teens, i personally, am in favour of a dress code, but i think when it becomes a distraction to actually learning.....there is a problem.
from what i've seen in my school, the hair/makeup issues are dealt with quickly and there usually isn't much of a fuss.  the teachers let them push the limits to an extent....