Japanese schools have become more stringent in implementing dress codes among students today. Add the wearing of a non-white surgical mask to the list. School administrators have to regulate the use of colorful mask designs in an effort to maintain proper “student conducts.”
People in Japan wear a surgical mask during winter and spring seasons. This created an impression from foreign tourists about the air quality in many urban areas. The reason for wearing a surgical mask is to avoid allergy attacks during the extreme hay fever season in the country. In addition, the surgical mask is useful in preventing and infecting people with a cough and colds.
But for Japanese middle school teacher @barbeejill3, this confusing and “stupid” regulation is just another burden to carry on his shoulder along with other prohibited acts like wearing earrings, necklaces and hair accessories. According to his tweet, they have spent 30 minutes during a staff meeting to discuss only what color the students should wear within the school premises. At the end of the meeting, the school officials have decided to allow students to only wear white-colored surgical masks. “Personally, I do not care what color mask the students wear, and I wish we’d stop wasting whole half-hours on stupid topics like this,” the disappointed teacher added.
Surgical masks are worn by people in East Asia countries to avoid environmental pollution and illness. Some people use surgical masks as part of their fashion style, not for health reasons anymore. Therefore, educators consider wearing a fancy-colored surgical mask a distraction during class and should be regulated. Still, the use of a surgical mask in public is widely promoted by medical experts to avoid acquiring and transmitting various airborne diseases.
The reaction of @barbeejill3 has drawn mixed reactions and comments from netizens. For some people, it’s just a typical surgical mask and students should not be restricted from wearing colorful ones. Even medical professionals wear non-white surgical masks while performing their jobs and it doesn’t cause any patient mishandling. However, school officials think otherwise, a fashionable surgical mask is similar to other kinds of classroom distractions where students’ focus may get affected.
For school officials, wearing a colorful surgical mask does not differ from wearing fancy pieces of jewelry or hair accessories since students wear them for aesthetic reasons. People want to wear the colorful ones as part of their fashion statement and white seems to be “less” attractive. This school regulation will be a burden and a waste of time for educators instead of focusing their attention on teaching.