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Girls who shaved heads told to wear wigs: MOE comments – Channel News Asia

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Girls who shaved heads told to wear wigs: MOE comments – Channel News Asia

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Education (MOE) says it provides schools with a set of guidelines in the management of school discipline.

These include the objectives of discipline and communication of school rules.

But within this set of guidelines, schools may formulate their own rules based on their school’s context and needs.

The MOE was responding to queries from Channel NewsAsia about five girls from St Margaret’s Secondary School who had their heads shaven in support of the Hair for Hope charity event last Saturday.

Three of them had turned up in school bald, even though they had promised their principal to wear wigs, while the other two kept their promise.

Cherry Wong and Leia Lai, both 15 years old, were among those who took part in last Saturday’s event and turned up at school on Monday without wearing wigs.

Rules at St Margaret’s Secondary do not allow “punk, unfeminine or sloppy hairstyles”.

Leia’s mother, Mdm Emily Chia, said the girls were suspended from almost two lessons and made to sit in the general office.

Two other girls from the same school who took part in the event, said they were willing to wear wigs since it was what they had promised their principal.

Pee Chloe said: “Why should we go back on our words when we already promised her that? Even if (you would get rashes if you wear wigs)…at least you must (show) an MC (medical certificate) before saying, we don’t want to wear our wigs and stuff.”

Sumiko Choo said: “The thing is, the principal already stated that if you are willing to do it (shave the head), you have to wear a wig. She stated it very clearly.

“But if you are not willing to wear a wig, you can do it after you graduate.”

Hair for Hope is an annual event organised by the Children’s Cancer Foundation (CCF), which raises funds to help children and their families affected by childhood cancer.

According to CCF, 16 schools had participated as satellite partners — 12 of which had female students shaving their heads for the cause.

However, St Margaret’s Secondary was not one of the participating schools.

Weighing in on the issue, parents and other students had mixed reactions.

One parent said: “Personally I find it a bit silly. If you are already pushing for that project, to ask a kid to show support by shaving her head, then why do you want them to wear a wig? Is it something shameful? I don’t think so.”

St Margaret’s Secondary School student Masturah Bagum said: “…they not abiding by the rules and not wearing a wig…I don’t think it is right to push the blame to the school and the principal.”

Meanwhile, CCF said that it is heartened by the bravery and compassion of the five girls who had their heads shaved in the event.

It said a key message of Hair for Hope is to let children who lost their hair following cancer treatment know that it is alright to be bald.

CCF added that every shaven head in Hair for Hope represents the understanding by an individual of the ordeal that a child with cancer goes through.

It also said the schools that took part in its satellite events did not raise any concerns about their students being bald during school time.

Leia’s mother, Mdm Chia said she is surprised this topic has gone viral online.

“I’m glad that it created the awareness that we wanted to create, although our intention was never to shame the school or to shame the principal.

“I think I just wanted the girls to have the recognition they should have gotten instead of being reprimanded.” 

Nation – Google News

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