Rule grants students rights
The Gyeonggi Provincial Office of Education yesterday proclaimed an ordinance protecting student rights, banning corporal punishment and enforcing respect toward individuality in clothing, hairstyle and religion.
The so-called students’ rights ordinance is unprecedented in Korea, and education offices in other provinces are expected to take similar moves, education officials said.
The new ordinance was proposed by Gyeonggi’s liberal education superintendent, Kim Sang-gon, and passed by the province’s education office, despite protests from local principals, teachers and conservative groups that argued easing regulations would make it harder to control students.
Under the ordinance, the province's elementary, middle and high schools are banned from using corporal punishment, conducting random searches of students’ belongings or forcing students to stay at school until late at night for supplemental classes.
It also eases tight dress code policies, removing guidelines on the length of students’ hair and allowing students to use mobile phones on a limited basis. Religious classes are no longer compulsory.