Last week, the Thai Ministry of Education announced that schools are free to set their own hairstyle rules, though Education Minister Trinuch Thienthong added that schools have been ordered not to implement harsh punishments on students who violate hairstyle rules. Which begs the question: what has actually changed?
A few weeks ago, we put out a story about Dove's #LetHerGrow campaign, and in it we mentioned that the law on school haircuts changed two years ago in Thailand, allowing for students to have long hair as long as it’s neat and tidy and prohibiting forced haircuts as punishments. However, a study conducted by YouGov (Thailand) this year found that 74% of respondents reported that forced haircuts were still carried out as a way to discipline students.
Responding to the renewed public interest in Thailand's infamous school hair rules as a result of the viral campaign, the Ministry of Education came out to confirm that teachers didn't have the right to cut students’ hair as a form of punishment that humiliates them. The Education Minister admitted that while discipline is an important part of the education system, forced haircuts do nothing to teach students about their roles and responsibilities. But will schools listen and actually change in accordance with the Ministry of Education's official stance this time around?