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High school teacher in hot water after forcibly giving male student a buzz cut

36 Comments
By Koh Ruide, SoraNews24

Not too long ago, teachers from a Japanese school made media headlines when they went to the extreme of cutting off 44 students’ hair for not meeting the dress code. And it appears a similar incident has happened again, this time in Kudamatsu Technical High School in Yamaguchi Prefecture.

In late autumn last year, a male teacher in his forties allegedly grabbed an electric hair clipper and gave one of his first-year male students a buzz cut, causing the boy take a leave of absence from school shortly after.

When approached by the principal in December, the teacher claimed he did it because his hair was too long.

But it seemed the problem ran deeper, as the educator had often hurled verbal abuse at his homeroom class, calling them “morons”, “idiots” and “stupid”, earning him a stern reprimand from the principal. When classes resumed in January after the New Year holidays, the teacher’s personality had apparently changed for the better, an improvement the principal thought not important to warrant reporting to the local Board of Education.

But all 40 pupils of that class and their parents had not forgotten that the educator forcibly cut someone’s hair, and furiously launched a petition to the board in February this year calling for his disciplinary dismissal.

In an effort to appease them, a meeting between school, Board of Education, students and parents was held on March 15, where the teacher officially apologized for his mistakes.

“Forcibly cutting students’ hair amounts to corporal punishment,” a board spokesman said firmly.

The educator’s role has now been shifted from homeroom teacher to assistant teacher, away from tasks that involve student-teacher interactions. “The current situation is still under investigation, and we will consider the feelings of the parents and students with regards to the teacher’s future,” said the principal.

“I deeply regret that it has come to this. I failed to report to the Board of Education because I thought the issue was solved with the teacher correcting his behavior, but I should have done so,” the principal apologized.

Source: Nikkan Sports via My Game News Flash

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Fukushima teacher threatens students with “Death Note”

-- Don’t like trigonometry? Then you’re just like Hitler, says Japanese high school English teacher

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© SoraNews24

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36 Comments
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n an effort to appease them, a meeting between school, Board of Education, students and parents was held on March 15, where the teacher officially apologized for his mistakes.

Appease them? Once again condescending response from those charged with the care and protection or our children.

How about the BOE taking responsibility and everyone, including the teacher, principal and all involved, taking out the clippers and give themselves a buzz cut!

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Surely, this is an assault on a child not to mention barbers being denied business?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

How one looks does not impede one's ability to study. This school is in my area and parents are very unhappy with the school!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Being a public school teacher here in Japan, I find it a problem that many teachers don't think on their own.

They tell sts to cut hair, take off the piercing rings and tattoos just because they did the same in the previous year, without thinking WHY the rules are necessary.

This guy was just an excessive and old-fashioned teacher who'd never thought what reaction from public would be expected.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

An assistant teacher (fuku-tanin) has plenty of student teacher interaction.  I am in that role at a SHS and I do not think it is enough to appease parents.  A physical assault should always be seen as serious enough to get the teacher fired or transferred at the least.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

It doesn't matter what this guy's qualifications are. His behaviour is unacceptable. He is NOT a teacher.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Sh1mon, a school is where students go to learn, not be assaulted by someone who has absolutely no right to touch any child or decide how they should look. It's school, not the military!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I think it amounts to a human rights violation. Hair length is not important in education. Whether it is clean and neat is.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Didn’t know japanese teachers carry electric hair clippers. In America they carry guns.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I can't help but wonder when exactly are Japanese youth allowed to express themselves through their appearance, if not during their high school years.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

When I was a kid in England, long hair was coming into fashion - Beatles, Stones, etc. So, naturally I wanted to grow my hair. At that time hair wasn't supposed to come down as far as the collar and there was supposed to be a centimetre or so of gap between the hair and the top of the ears.

It was just coming up to the summer holiday - six weeks to grow my hair really long! But a few days before the holiday was due to start, I was caught by the headmaster. "Wooster!" he said, "Haircut!"

The next morning I got up early and plastered my hair with dad's hair cream so that it looked really short. I went to the head's office and knocked on his door.

"You told me to come and see you, sir."

"Did I? What about?"

"Haircut, sir."

"Oh yes! Very good! Off you go, Wooster!"

4 ( +4 / -0 )

So the principal was not aware of this teacher's actions until parents complained?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Alex Einz

Exactly, it's not a kindergarten, so why are these students treated like they are in kindergarten? These high schoolers are almost young adults, so for adults to police their appearance is ridiculous. At this point, it should be left to the individual to take care of their own appearance, and realize that the way they choose to present themselves, might affect their chances on the job market.

Even an idiot will understand that in the corporate world, you might be required to dress and look a certain way, you DON'T need to shave someone's head against their will to get that point across.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I can not say what the law is in Japan but here it would constitute assault and battery.

In any other civilised country he would be immediately suspended pending investigation then on proving the charges be dismissed; criminal charges also being a real possibility not to mention any civil suit against both the individual and institutional parties.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Some men and boys have the same reaction as women and girls concerning their hair. How would people react if a girls hair were shaved off? I personally would have the same reaction for both.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Assault? pluuuuueaase, it's a hair cut, it's a school, there are standards, there are uniforms, it's there to ensure all students feels and are treated equally.

I suggest that if the rules about long hair do not apply to girls then they should also not apply to boys. Anything else would be discrimination.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

A haircut is not assault, the story reference 44 other cases of hair cuts.

if I forcibly gave you a haircut, how would you react? I suspect the police would get involved and rightly - this is assault.

Perhaps the pupil was in breach of the rules, but he should have been ordered to get a haircut if he wanted to to attend lessons. To forcibly give someone a buzzcut is clearly assault.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Look we all know the teacher just wanted to be a GTO (Great Teacher Onizuka)!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

× forcibly

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Maybe the teacher can start by conforming to the prohibitions in criminal law. A haircut actually does qualify as assault, as does spitting. When you get it cut in a barber shop, it is considered "Justified" because it is part of the barber's regular work (業務) and the guy consented. Neither of these factors would apply in this case.

I'm aware of even stricter schools enforcing no dyeing of hair, ie no artificial colors, and student having to restore their natural hair color.

I'm even aware of unfortunate foreigners that naturally have a different color, and now they have to dye it black, because it doesn't look natural to the teacher.

It's Japan, behaviour and conformity with the clan is intrinsic to the culture.

Unfortunately, unwarranted deference to authority even on useless points is indeed part of the Japanese culture. The courts are probably going to say that the school is a "Partial Society" and refuse to get involved.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If all the schools around had similar hair regs and homeschooling is not allowed, this needs to be taken up with school board and prefectural govt...and ID as female until reg is made equal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wish someone would try to cut my son's hair without my or my wife's approval! Where I'm from, do unto others as you'd have them do unto you is well practiced.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I had long hair in high school. My teacher was always on my case. He kept telling me to cut it.

I said he could cut it in class the last day if he gave everyone 5 points on their final exam.

He agreed. He shaved my head.

All the students thanked me for the extra points.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

the guy consented.

The pupil consented the second he signed up to a school with appearance rules.

I'm even aware of unfortunate foreigners that naturally have a different color, and now they have to dye it black, because it doesn't look natural to the teacher.

Rhetorical statement, you know I meant 'natural hair color', ie Japanese - black, Euro - brown, blonde ...

The courts are probably going to say that the school is a "Partial Society" and refuse to get involved.

If the school had conviction, they'd defend their rights, and the rights of parents and pupil who chose to live by the rules.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

This is a very common form of punishment for unruly boys in Japanese Jr/Sr high schools. I've seen it many times. I'm not sure why this teacher has been singled out.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

if I forcibly gave you a haircut, how would you react? I suspect the police would get involved and rightly - this is assault.

You wouldn't have to, I would follow the rules in the first place, majime is the essence of the Japanese culture, I would argue that those who adopt foreign values contrary to majime whilst existing in Japan is betraying Japan.

Perhaps the pupil was in breach of the rules, but he should have been ordered to get a haircut if he wanted to to attend lessons.

You're speculating, and the time it takes for hair to grow is not supporting your speculation. It would have been more the case that he ignored the rules, starting growing it long, ignored request to comply (possibly on multiple occasions) before it was cut by the teacher.

I'm aware of even stricter schools enforcing no dyeing of hair, ie no artificial colors, and student having to restore their natural hair color.

It's Japan, behaviour and conformity with the clan is intrinsic to the culture. The teacher is staying entirely within those bounds, else he'd be charged by the police.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

These high schoolers are almost young adults, so for adults to police their appearance is ridiculous

No what is ridiculous is to enrol in a school with rules on appearance, only to not abide by the rules.

Even an idiot will understand that in the corporate world, you might be required to dress and look a certain way, you DON'T need to shave someone's head against their will to get that point across.

What about the will of the rest of the school to abide by rules.

What sort of corporate citizen will he become if the only lesson learnt is it's ok to break rules?

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

This is a very common form of punishment for unruly boys in Japanese Jr/Sr high schools. I've seen it many times. I'm not sure why this teacher has been singled out.

The story refers to 44 other students getting haircut as well. I think the whole thing is hyped up or speculation.

A school is not a place for extreme self expression, I'd like to buy the teacher a beer.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

well done teacher, school aint kindergarten

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

@Ybelrick

Sh1mon, a school is where students go to learn, not be assaulted by someone who has absolutely no right to touch any child or decide how they should look

A haircut is not assault, the story reference 44 other cases of hair cuts.

If a parent or student can't comply with uniform and appearance standards, they should go to a different school that doesn't have rules on appearance.

Remember, schools prepares student for a working life. What do graduates look like on 1st April when they started their working career? They conform to corporate expectations.

The teacher has performed a massive favour for the student that will set him up for his future corporate life, he should be thanked, not punished.

To the student, I say harden up princess, it's only a bad day in your life if you believe in it is.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

Assault? pluuuuueaase, it's a hair cut, it's a school, there are standards, there are uniforms, it's there to ensure all students feels and are treated equally.

-13 ( +5 / -18 )

I'm with the teacher, the classroom or school is not a JPop stage and conformity is enforced for good reason. Where does it stop, school unifirms, nose rings?

On a less serious note, I could be jealous, the only hair I have left are on my face not my head :-).

-16 ( +5 / -21 )

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