Student suffers fever after being told to take off extra layer on coldest day of the year.

We recently took a look at the frustrations of a father in Japan whose daughter goes to a school where the dress code doesn’t allow girls to wear tights underneath their skirts to keep their legs warm in the winter. Now an incident in Hiroshima is drawing attention to unaccommodating school rules above the waistline too.

On the morning of January 25, the people of Hiroshima City woke up to heavy snow and the coldest day of the winter so far. The forecast called for a midday high of just 3.1 degrees Celsius (37.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and a low of minus-4.2 Celsius (24.4 Fahrenheit). So before heading to class at a public junior high school, one second-year boy decided to bundle up by wearing a sweatshirt over his uniform shirt.

He didn’t even make it to his classroom before being stopped for a dress code violation.

As the boy approached the school’s entrance gate, he was stopped by a teacher, who told him that he’d have to remove the sweatshirt, as they aren’t allowed under the school’s rules. The boy complied, attending his classes without wearing the garment and also keeping it off as he left school to return home. Sure enough, the next evening he started running a fever which wound up requiring him to stay home from school until February 1 to recover from.

The boy’s parents are, predictably, upset about the situation, and say they want the school to revise its dress code. The school, meanwhile, says that it believes that its current policies allow students to dress warmly enough to cope with the cold, barring any pre-existing medical conditions of other special situations.

The fact that the student got sick after being told to take off his sweatshirt would seem to imply that the rules, in fact, do not allow students to dress warmly enough. However, the school’s dress code explicitly states that students are allowed to wear sweaters, gloves, and scarves. Coats and sweatshirts, meanwhile, are not on the list of allowed clothing items, so the problem, in the teacher’s eyes, seems to have been more that the boy was wearing a sweatshirt instead of a sweater, as opposed to an additional warm garment of any kind being a violation.

That said, it seems like there should have been some other course of disciplinary action other than exposing the boy to the cold and increasing his risk of getting sick. Ostensibly, schools require uniforms because they believe they create an atmosphere that helps children learn better, but enforcing the rules in a way that leads to a student missing a week’s worth of classes doesn’t really seem like it’s contributing to that objective.

Source: NHK News Web
Top image: Pakutaso
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