A recent article in ST noted that 3 school girls who shaved their head bald to help out cancer society and were told to wear a wig to cover up their unfeminine look. To be fair to the principal, the girls did make a promise to wear a wig after seeking permissions but they did not follow up on the promise.
The question however, is why in a diverse, multi-racial and multi-cultural society in Singapore, why are schools teaching students to be less tolerant to diversity and instead educating them in stereotypical gender roles. In other words girls should act like girls and boys like boys. Granted this is a school and there are dressing rules (just like in army or even working in a company), why is one of the most important institution in Singapore which is supposed to prepare our youths to live in diverse global without pre-judgement and with empathy, did not take that chance to teach their students the value of accepting someone who may be bald due to cancer? Isn’t is a good opportunity for learning instead?
Instead, the principal was quoted to have said: “Can you imagine if I were to say yes, I’d have everybody coming to school with a bald head. Sometimes it’s a fad, so they would take advantage of the situation.”. Hello!!! This is a one off charity event and the girls had to seek permissions in the first place. Allowing them to go bald, doesn’t qualify for opening the flood gates. In fact, won’t you be glad if every student are as empathic as the girls and supported the cancer society, including the principal, and shaved bald. What an incredible sight it must be at school assembly to see such caring students all in one school!
Instead the principal chose the “I actually don’t have any people management skills” approach and decided that she could not handle people questioning her judgement and having her weak management skills exposed and just closed the door forever to even allow the students from learning from these events.