Blue Socks - The School Uniform Debate

From Clothes to Hairstyles...

The school uniform debate was taken even further than the clothes that school students wore. There were plenty of cases in the 1970s relating to the hairstyles of students and even to boys' facial hair.



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In the 1970s long hair was in fashion. If you look back at video footage of pop bands or popular male icons of the 1970s many had long hair. Young people were keen to follow the trends set by their idols and to have the most sought after hairstyle. Therefore many teenage boys had long hair. In the article at the top of the page we are told that a Headteacher sent fifteen boys home from school for having long hair, and refusing to get it cut. There were many similar cases mentioned in the press, some relating to long hair, and others relating to boys who got themselves into trouble for having shaved heads or mohican style haircuts.



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The teacher mentioned in this story allegedly cut the hair of four boys in front of their fellow students. He was threatened with being taken to court for his actions.


The haircut debate obviously caused much controversy and probably led to poor relations between teachers and students. It appears that only short back and sides was suitable for school, and other alternative hairstyles, however popular, were not acceptable in the classroom.


What reasons do you think this teacher had for cutting the boys' hair?

Do you think that the length of a boy's hair (or the colour of a girl's bra) affects their ability to learn?

Document icon Learning article provided by: Hull History Centre | 
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