Teacher ‘CUM’ Barber

A friend of mine told me recently that her younger sister, who is studying in one of the private high schools in Thimphu, came home one day with her hair chopped off, almost in tears.
Apparently, this was some teacher making good his promise that if “by tomorrow all the girls do not cut their hair, please remember that I am not a good barber”. So it seems a lot of girls in that school that morning had their ponytails chopped off.
Apparently this teacher thinks that a particular length of hair which he likes is acceptable, no longer than that, however.
Schools obviously have a reason for imposing uniform regulations, but I also know that we tried in every possible way to make ourselves a little different in high school. A bracelet here, longer kiras, thicker keras, some earrings, hair clips, it was all an effort to spice up the uniform. We were after all, teenage girls, concerned with appearances, yes. I honestly don’t think there is anything wrong with it all, it definitely didn’t kill the girls’ grey cells when they added some accessory or the other. But like I said, schools had their own reasons for imposing uniform regulations, and whether I agree with it or not does not matter.
The hair cutting incident, however, bothers me. When we are talking of abuse, and child rights, when we are saying that not only do we ban corporal punishment, but we also take care not to embarass the student publicly, or cause them any emotional trauma, I feel that the whole hair chopping spree falls well int the red zone.
I had my fair share of terrible teachers. And I am sorry to mention this, because I also had my share of fantastic ones, and I know that criticism of any teacher is taken badly by all people in the profession. And I would not have liked to criticise the ones who I disliked for fear of hurting the sentiments of others, some of whom I love. But the fact is that I had some terrible teachers, as I am sure did everyone else. I had teachers who liked to beat children a lot, I had teachers who liked to embarass their students, or impose their ideas on the students, threatening them with punishment for not agreeing to their opinions rather than encouraging a good though by inspiring them.  And I don’t think these people were all that bad. They seemed like bad teachers, I think, because it was their job to be great people and any falling short would be noticed, unlike in many other vocations. I think they just didnt know any better, just what kind of impact they were having on the students. And because of this, I am hopeful that if we make it an issue, they will come to realise what kind of impact they have on young minds, and attempt to be more caring in future.


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