Court rules in favor of school hair color code

NHK -- Feb 17
A Japanese court has ruled in favor of a public high school in a case involving the color of a female student's hair. But it also awarded the student damages in a separate decision.

The student at Osaka Prefecture Kaifukan Senior High School sued the prefecture four years ago. She argued that she stopped attending the school after teachers pressed her to dye her hair black even though she was born with brown hair.

She demanded that Osaka Prefecture pay more than 2.2 million yen, or about 20,000 dollars in damages.

The Osaka District Court said on Tuesday that the school's rules that banned students from dyeing their hair are reasonable, and established for due educational purposes. The court said the rules are within the school's discretion to discipline students.

The court ruled that it cannot be said that the teachers' instruction of the student was illegal. It said that by checking her hair near the scalp, teachers saw it was black and thought she was born with black hair.

The court, however, ordered Osaka Prefecture to pay about 3,000 dollars in damages over the school's action after the student ceased attending the school. The court said it was unacceptable that the school removed the student's desk and her name from the roster after she stopped coming to school.