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New rules on dress and speech for teachers in Jiangsu

Modern Express, September 15, 2010

Teachers in Jiangsu dress too sexily and have a bad habit of talking out of turn, reports the Modern Express.

Today's edition features a look at the Fifteen Etiquette Recommendations for Nanjing Primary and Secondary School Teachers, issued by the Nanjing government yesterday:

Laziness is no excuse for wrinkled clothing;
Clothing that reveals the breasts, shoulders, back, midriff, or thigh should not be worn;
Outer clothing may not be too thin or translucent;
Scoop necklines cannot be worn;
Skirts may not be too short;
Clothing that wraps the body too tight is inadvisable.

These are encapsulated in "six don'ts": Don't wear dirty, skimpy, translucent, revealing, short, or tight clothing.

According to the paper, the new guidelines are the idea of municipal Political Consultative Conference member Bi Darong, who once caught a glimpse of lingerie on campus:

Once, while picking up her child after school let out, she saw a teacher bending down to tie a student's shoelaces. Her neckline was low, and you could see her underwear through her collar. "I thought it wasn't too tasteful. If what a teacher wears is too revealing, it will have a negative effect on the children." Although the teacher was caring for the student, her clothing was not appropriate for her professional image. As a result, at this year's municipal legislative sessions, Bi put forward a proposal recommending that the Nanjing Bureau of Education revise the existing draft Etiquette Standard to include more detailed standards for professional attire and appearance that educators could use as a reference.

Some of the requirements, in brief:

The requirements for teachers' appearance state that whether in the classroom or outside in the campus, teachers should be radiant and energetic and should appear happy and full of self-confidence. They may not wear heavy makeup or oversize jewelry, may not have long fingernails, and may not dye their hair in strange colors. Demeanor requirements are quite high as well: when sitting, hands should be clasped or placed atop each other, and legs should be together or crossed. When standing, legs should be straight and together, the abdomen held in, and the hands crossed in front of the body. The head should be erect. When walking, no noise should be made and footsteps should be steady. Refined conduct is requested in the classroom; pacing is discouraged. However, the rules against lecturing while seated and open or disguised corporal punishment remain unchanged.

Yesterday, the Modern Express reported on an official government notice barring teachers from speaking out of turn. The notice was circulated Bureau of Education of Pizhou, a county-level city under the jurisdiction of Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province:

The official document said that in recent years, Pizhou has attached great importance to behavior and morality, but out of private motives, individual teachers used the Internet to disseminate falsehoods, and in the space less than a year, three had been detained by police. Therefore, in order to create a civilized online environment, the document notes all Pizhou faculty should "stress politics, and stress the big picture" and convey their valid complaints through proper channels. They should not do things they ought not to do, and should not indiscriminately say what they should not be talking about. In addition, all schools should strengthen moral education, including civilized Internet use. Educators who violate regulations will be given criticism and education to firmly put a stop to the appearance of new online violations.

The notice (part II)

The motivation for the notice appears to be the destabilizing influence of several troublemakers who complained about the administration on online forums:

One Pizhou teacher told this reporter that there was indeed a teacher who wrote about problems with salaries, recruitment exams, and pensions on the Internet, and that could possibly have made the Bureau of Education fear for local stability, leading it to issue the notice.

In the first half of this year, a Pizhou teacher wrote online about misappropriation of a pension fund for middle school teachers. On May 21, the Pizhou Bureau of Education issued a public notice asking all schools involved to restore the funds to their proper levels and avoid being in arrears in the future. "Judging from the circumstances, the problems the teacher wrote about online were true," said one teacher in Pizhou who was unwilling to be identified by name. That teacher said that the request in the Bureau of Education's notice that teachers "should not do things they ought not to do, and should not indiscriminately say what they should not be talking about" was actually restricting their freedom of speech. He told this reporter, "The official document asks teachers to convey their valid complaints through proper channels, but this is an online society, so isn't the Internet a proper channel?"
Yesterday, Gao Fuxin, office director for the Pizhou Bureau of Education, confirmed that the notice was genuine. He said that last year, three teachers from Pizhou had bee detained by police because they had disseminated falsehoods, spread rumors that destabilized the overall situation, or had slandered and infringed on the rights of others. One additional primary school teacher had expressed dissatisfaction online over performance-linked pay and the actual salary amount and had spread rumors, slander, and insults. Police investigations had found that the problems they complained about were rumors and untrue.

Gao told this reporter that the Bureau of Education's original intent in releasing the official notice was to bring a halt to these online phenomena. "The Bureau of Education is not preventing teachers from using proper channels to reflect valid complaints. But they cannot hurl abuse and insults."

The attempt to muzzle local teachers has drawn criticism from teachers in Pizhou as well as commentators from all parts of the country, bringing the county attention it probably would rather avoid. A copy of the notice that the Modern Express found on the website of Yunhe Middle School has since been removed (screenshot here).

Today's top headline concerns a trade fair to be held in Nanjing over the weekend at which more than 40,000 different goods from Taiwan will be up for sale. The front-page photo shows anxious men and women sleeping in tents outside of a hospital to wait in line for fertility treatments.

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There are currently 1 Comments for New rules on dress and speech for teachers in Jiangsu.

Comments on New rules on dress and speech for teachers in Jiangsu

Too bad the teachers weren't dressing sexily when I was at Nanwai. That would've made the "recommendations-for-cash" go down a little easier.

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