Chinese school shaves off all its pupils’ hair to prepare them for military training

Vocational school apologises after overzealous barbers leave teenagers nearly bald

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 November, 2017, 6:20pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 November, 2017, 6:29pm

A vocational school in southern China has apologised for shaving off the hair of all male pupils in one department ahead of their annual military training.

In its apology to the teenagers and their parents, the school said the barbers it had hired had not carried out the task properly, Southern Metropolis News reported on Tuesday.

All schools and colleges at secondary level and above in mainland China are required to provide military training in the autumn under the country’s Military Service Law.

The length of the training period varies between one week and one month.

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The electrical and mechanical department at Shenzhen’s Bao’an Vocational Technical School had ordered all its 10th grade male pupils – aged 15 or 16 – to get their hair cut before the start of the training period in the middle of the month, a spokesperson for the school told the newspaper.

On November 7, the school decided that a total of 175 students were still wearing their hair too long, and hired two barbers.

The spokesperson added that both the hired barbers and the school took responsibility for going too far.

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Chinese net users questioned whether the school had violated the students’ rights. Others argued that high school students might grow more rebellious when faced with over-strict rules.

“I am a high schooler and my school requires us to cut our hair short so we are nearly bald. I wonder whether I can seek legal help about deciding my own hairstyle,” one person asked on an online forum.

Bao’an Vocational School promised to take students’ thoughts into consideration in future, according to the report.