A middle school in Fukuoka Prefecture in Kurume, Japan, punished a student with three days of “separate room classes” and a reflective essay after discovering she had plucked her eyebrows.
In April, the public school conducted an inspection to see if students were following the school’s hair styling and coloring rules. However, it was a 14-year-old student given a violation to pluck the edge of her eyebrows for a groomed look.
The school punished them with “besshitu toko,” a form of discipline in which students are forced to do their homework in a separate classroom. She was also asked to write a reflective essay.
The school’s director of education, Miki Hata, defended the decision, claiming that plucking the eyebrows could distract from schoolwork.
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“I think the school is concerned that children at a developing age may become distracted by focusing too much on their eyebrows and hairstyles and neglecting essential aspects of their education and lifestyle,” Miki said Abema times.
A Kurume city council member, 61-year-old Mutsumi Kaneko, argued that the rule “lacks logic” and that the punishment is too severe.
“How is it wrong for them to groom their eyebrows? By not letting her study in her regular class and having her study in a separate room, did you think that would make her eyebrows grow back? The eyebrow rule of this school is beyond the bounds of logic,” Mutsumi told the Abema Times.
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A lawyer familiar with school rules believes the school may be depriving students of their freedom.
“I think teachers should not misunderstand that they are doing it for their students, but they should be aware that it has the effect of atrophying students and depriving them of their freedom. Don’t do it,” the attorney said.
From April 1, the Tokyo metropolitan area government began Implementation of five changes Dress code in around 200 schools. Some of these changes include removing the long-held rule that students are not allowed to dye their hair or wear a “two-block” hairstyle. Rules for controlling underwear color and punishments in the form of “house arrest” are also dropped.
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