[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]An anachronistic mindset

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[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]An anachronistic mindset

This letter is in regard to Moon Chang-keuk’s column “Values can’t be negotiated” (May 19).
I am disheartened to learn that the anachronistic mindsets of Korean adults are still far from being dismantled.
Instead of addressing the core values of society that must be protected in a spirit of respect and understanding, the writer merely brushes aside the concerns of young teenagers in a condescending tone of misplaced contempt.
The author vehemently argues in favor of such issues as hairstyle restrictions and checking the diaries of elementary school students under the pretext of instilling values of respect and discipline into our youth.
What he wants, however, is to reiterate the absolute authority of adults over children, and in this light, the author does a great disservice to society.
I am a high school student myself, and I see all such restrictions in our society as a step backward.
It is not right to contend that Korean children are no longer disciplined just because they are fighting and striving for their rights.
This is not a matter of protesting over the length of our hair, but a matter of protecting our right to express our individuality and a commitment to standing up for the rights that we believe we are entitled to.
If teachers and school administrators have the right to tell us to cut our hair, do we not have the right to condemn our leaders for the inept choices they make?
Is that not what democracy is about ― the right to express and do as we believe it is in our moral capacity to do?

by Lee Yoon-jae
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