Japanese student forced to blacken her hair, and lost in court

Like many schools in Japan, where most people are born with straight, dark hair, Kaifukan Senior High School in Osaka is about student appearances. Permits and braided extensions are out of range as dyed and bleached hair.

A brown-haired Japanese-born student got into trouble when school officials believed she had blown off the rules, checked her roots and repeatedly demanded that she blacken it. Although the student dyed her hair at first, she eventually stopped following.

The school then removed her desk from the classroom, erased her name from the school rosters and barred her from school travel. In 2017, when the student was 18, he sued Osaka Prefecture, which runs the school, alleging mental trouble.

On Tuesday, Osaka’s district court ordered the local government to pay him $ 3,100 in emotional damages. The student originally demanded $ 20,780 in damages.

But in a statement represented by student advocates, the judge also ruled that the enforcement of school attendance rules did not run in violation of the law, and that “reasonable reason” To believe that the student had naturally dark hair.

The case established a national reimbursement over aggressive school rules and an outrage against the rules, which left little room for student personality. Activist groups start petitions Demand for change in rules Students decide the length of their hair, skirts and in some cases, the color of their underwear.

Japan is not the only country in the region, however, young women have police hair color. Last year, two women’s soccer teams at Chinese universities were barred from participating in a match because the players had dyed hair, which was against the rules. When a player was decided not to have “black enough” hair, he was ordered to leave the game, forcing his team To seize the match.

Kayako Oshima, a professor of policy at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan, said in a television interview on Tuesday that some school rules were necessary, but in this case, “child guidance prompted the girl to avoid going to school and take Took the opportunity to learn. “Professor Oshima said,” In this era, when there is global interaction with people with different eyes and hair, is it appropriate for schools to ban dyed or allowed hair? Have to reconsider. “

according to a The plaintiff’s petition was filed in 2017The student’s mother told the school that her daughter’s hair is naturally brown. But the teacher kept pressing the student to blacken her hair. She applied black dye so many times that she stopped attending classes in September 2016 due to stress, before she started having rashes and scalp pain.

The Osaka government argued that a vice principal had inspected the student’s roots and found them black, which the school reported as evidence that she was coloring her hair.

The student, who has not been identified, could not be reached for comment. Neither did his lawyer, Yoshiyuki Hayashi, who could Said at a press conference On Tuesday that he will appeal the ruling. He said the court erred in determining that the student’s natural hair color was black.

In the court’s ruling, Judge Noriko Yokota criticized Osaka High School for scrutinizing the student’s name from school records, stating that “her actions lacked serious legitimacy.” But Judge Yokota rejected the student’s claim about her naturally gray hair, saying that regulations on student attendance served a legitimate purpose and provide “child guidance” for the school and those rules Inspection was appropriate to ensure adherence to.

In the wake of the lawsuit, minor changes have been made to some schools since the investigation applied to Japanese school rules.

Osaka’s education states that as of 2018, 40 percent of Osaka Prefecture’s public high schools have explicitly banned rules banning brown or curly hair. And in 2019, Tokyo’s education officer Forbidden school By instructing students with light hair to darken it.

Masahiko Takashi, head of Kafukan Senior High School, said on Tuesday that his school had the same rules regarding hair appearance. He said that he would try to explain its intentions to the students and parents.

“When it comes to students with dyed hair, I have not changed the standards for students to change it to black,” he said at a news conference. “But I want to take this trial as a lesson and guide my students properly.”

Makiko Inuo Contributed to reporting.

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