Headmaster rapped for aggressive hair-styling

NICOSIA – A scissors-wielding Cypriot headmaster was criticized yesterday by a human rights watchdog for humiliating his students by making them cut off extravagantly long or unconventionally styled hair. According to a report by the office of the ombudsman – known in Cyprus as the Commissioner for Administration – the secondary-school headmaster, whose name was not made public, handed out scissors to schoolboys in the midst of the year-end exams and told them to shear off their quiffs and Mohican spikes. Under threat of having to re-sit the exams if they did not obey, the teenagers reluctantly started trimming. Parents claimed that the headmaster personally acted as barber to two students who tried to stand their ground. But the headmaster himself has denied this. In her report, ombudsman Eliana Nicolaou described the enforced haircuts as « a slight on [the schoolboys’] dignity, and particularly humiliating.»The ombudsman’s office opened in 1991. (Reuters)

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