If you think it’s alright to go to school in Japan with your aesthetically colored hair, think again.
An 18-year-old girl filed a case against the Osaka prefecture (and her high school) for forcing her to dye her hair black. In a trial that happened on October 27 in the Osaka District Court, the reason was so that she can conform with the school’s dress code.
Based on her testimony, she was forced to dye her hair black in junior high even if she didn’t like it. What’s worse is that she was prohibited to attend field trips and even school festivals because of her natural brown hair color.
In one of the “warnings” she received, a teacher asked, “Is it because you have a single mother that you always change your hair color to brown?”. This caused her to hyperventilate and was sent immediately to the hospital.
In September last year, another teacher told her, “If you’re not going to dye your hair black then you don’t need to come to school”. Due to this statement, she never went back to the campus again.
In April, the school told parents and students that she was expelled and they officially removed her name and records as if she never really studied and existed in the campus.
For a high schooler like her, getting called-out to teachers as well as getting into a situation where she is forced to do something to go with the school standard, can have effects on a person mentally.
“Even blonde foreign students are required by the rules to dye their hair black”, the girl’s lawyer said.
Due to this institutionalized “bullying” and losing her education, she is suing the Osaka Prefectural government for 2.2 million yen in damages.
The board of education and the school refused to comment on the matter since the case is still ongoing.