A video clip that depicts teachers at an ultra-Orthodox school checking schoolgirls’ hair to make sure they comply with standards of so-called modesty standards has provoked outrage on social media.
Teachers at Lakewood Girls School Bnos Yaakov in New Jersey apparently took the action after administrators wrote a letter to the girls’ parents, declaring that their hair may not reach more than four inches below their collarbone, with the optimal length being two inches below.
The length should be measured with the hair left loose, the school wrote, though naturally while in class, any girl with below shoulder-length locks must tie them up in some fashion. If their hair exceeds the limit, the girls will be forced to have it cut, according to the letter.
The Lakewood school is not associated with conservative sects like Neturei Karta or the Satmar Hasids, but rather belongs to the relatively moderate Lithuanian stream of ultra-Orthodoxy.
The letter and the Youtube clip showing hair being measured have sparked much debate in the Haredi world.
One anonymous response to the video was, “If the school has an issue with a child’s hair length, it should be taken up privately between the administration and the parents. How DARE this school humiliate these girls in front of their classmates and teachers.”