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School rules have gotten stricter, even regulating eyebrows, underwear: survey

In this file photo, high school students take a last glance at their notes before a college entrance exam in Kumamoto's Chuo Ward on Feb. 25, 2016. (Mainichi)

Rules for junior high and high school students have gotten stricter in the last 40 years, an internet survey carried out by groups working to get rid of unreasonable "black" school rules found.

Nonprofit organizations and others involved in a project to eliminate "black" school regulations announced the results of the poll on March 8. The poll found that rules dictating hairstyle and clothing tended to be stricter for current students than for respondents in their 50s when they were in school

The survey asked men and women aged 15 to 59 about what kind of school rules and other guidelines they experienced. The answers were divided into junior high school and high school, and 1,000 respondents were randomly chosen for each and analyzed.

The results showed that junior high school rules tended to be stricter. There was barely a difference between the percentages of participants in the youngest and oldest age groups who faced regulations about hair length in junior high -- 25 percent for those in their 50s and 27 percent for current teens.

However, the proportion of those who were subject to rules such as being forbidden from shaving their eyebrows and having the color of their underwear regulated was higher among the teen respondents, compared to those in other age groups, and from this it was concluded that guidelines have become more severe in recent years.

On the other hand, while rules prohibiting drinking water during physical education classes and club activities were common among participants in their 40s and 50s, the percentage of teens and 20-somethings that experienced such rules fell apparently because the dangers of such practices have become common knowledge.

In addition, it was confirmed that at schools with stricter rules, it was more likely for teachers to scold students in front of other people along with other unreasonable disciplinary actions. The survey also showed that at such schools, a higher percentage of students reported having been the victim of bullying.

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