Of Tattoos, Body Piercing, Prejudice and Stupidity

The Association of Private Technological and Vocational Educational Colleges of Thailand, with 400 vocational colleges under its umbrella nationwide, has decided schools would adopt strict screening measures measures for selecting students, says chairman Jompong Mongkolvanich.

"We won't accept children with tattoos or heavily pierced ears in the 2016 academic year as, in many cases, ill-intentioned people try to apply to be students," he said.
So is that conservative-laced-with-prejudice talking? Or just plain stupidity? Perhaps educationalists and academic experts believe that all young people with tattoos and/or body piercings are potential hardcore criminals and juvenile delinquents.

Thailand Zashnain

Thai conservatism, either people trying to please the uncaring junta, or simply the whims of moralists in love with the stifling social hierarchy. This Thai social philosophy that supposedly promotes traditional good values is bent on seeing conformity, at the cost of common sense.

While there is a need for civil society, authorities and youths to collaborate on reducing violent crime among young people, how are tattoos connected with Thai crime and will this discriminatory policy in vocational schools solve the problem?

Zashnain Piercings

Thinking that a young person with tattoos is prone to violence is clearly an infantile, misleading perception. And not as if adults have set good, worthy-to-follow examples of behaviours; at least not what we have been seeing in Thailand.

Uniformity via forcing young people to behave the way adults command is not the answer. What happened to consultation with the younger generation and attempting to understand the diverse youth culture? 

Oh yes, I almost forgot: Thailand is still in the puritan phase of forcing the masses towards undivided obedience.

But by banning, blacklisting young people who don't conform to the junta's almost-godly vision of social construct, the authorities, and to a large extent because of societal apathy, have failed to respond to the needs of young people. I dread to see the impact of this continued repression of young people, and how it will influence youths when they ultimately take over the ageing community.

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