Can the length of a student’s hair have an impact on academic progress? For male preparatory school students in Chihuahua the answer is yes: they are not allowed in school if their hair is longer than two centimeters or if it is cut in what the principal’s office described as “modern styles.”
A crackdown yesterday on offending students attending at least one campus of the state-run Colegio de Bachilleres de Chihuahua (Cobach) sparked protests by students, who accused the principal’s office of violating their right to learn.
About 50 students mounted a demonstration outside the school.
State lawmaker Deyanira Ozaeta issued a statement asserting that no school’s rules should be “above the rights enshrined in the constitution,” and that denying the students entry was unacceptable and discriminatory.
The school says students — and parents — are aware of the rules and must sign off on them to be accepted by the school, which has the option to bar access if they do not comply.
The rules require that students tuck in their shirts, wear a belt, black shoes with socks and — for boys — wear their hair short.
The purpose of the rules “is to promote order, responsibility and respect among the youths,” and abiding by them “contributes to and guarantees a structure of appropriate relationships and behavior that promote the community’s development following a culture of legality.”
The school offers free haircuts to any student who wants one.