80% of Japanese City Public High Schools Have Underwear Color Rules: Lawyer Group

A group of lawyers and others announce the results of their investigation into Fukuoka City Municipal High Schools at the headquarters of the Fukuoka Bar Association in the city’s Chuo district on December 22, 2020. (Mainichi / Keisuke Muneoka)

FUKUOKA – More than 80% of municipal high schools in this southwestern Japanese city have rules for the color of student underwear, and a majority also apply rules for hair and eyebrows, he said. it emerged from the results of a survey conducted by the Fukuoka Bar Association published on December 22.

In response to its findings, the group of lawyers said that in some cases disciplinary action taken when students violated these rules amounted to “human rights abuses.” Their report describes that students are told that they will be forced to remove the offending underwear at school and that they will have to wash their hair if styling products are found there.

The Fukuoka Bar Association plans to hold a symposium in February 2021 and intends to provide schools with proposals on how they can revise their current rules. The bar’s investigations stemmed from an access to information request to the Fukuoka municipal government, in which they requested details of the 69 rules of its colleges.

As part of his investigation, he also conducted interviews with a number of students, tutors and teachers to learn about their experiences and confirm whether or not there are other rules in place that are not described. in student textbooks and other documents.

Of the written rules found in textbooks and other materials from 69 schools, 62 have regulations on the style and length of students’ hair, 58 of them have rules on their hair color, 57 have regulations on hair color for students. color underwear can be, and 56 have rules on the eyebrows.

In some cases, the rules state that an offender will be “required to wash their hair in case hair products are in it”, that “until the eyebrows grow, they can be drawn”, and also that “students be forced to take off their underwear at school”, among other punishments.

A remarkable number of schools had rules that underwear should be white. Unreasonable regulations were also apparent, including banning hairstyles like the undercut, a cut in which the sides of the head are cut short while the top is left long.

Attorney and Fukuoka Bar Association member Tami Sagawa said, “It is problematic that even though the students themselves may have doubts about the school rules, there is nothing they can do because that teachers tell them, “This will affect your report card.” ”

The Fukuoka City Council of Education said, “We advise every school to review unreasonable and irrational rules. If there are school rules that violate human rights, we will ask them to revise them.

(Japanese original by Keisuke Muneoka and Sayo Kato, Kyushu News Department)


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