Chinese School Creates New Standards for “Cool” and “Hip”
A high school in Central China’s Henan province recently set a code of behavior for students to become “macho boys” and “cute and clever girls”, which has become a hot topic among local teachers and students.
Zhengzhou No 18 High School, which specializes in art education, granted the titles “macho boys” and “cute and clever girls” to 44 students – 22 boys and 22 girls – at the beginning of the new semester, so other students would emulate their behavior.
Duan Yaping, 44, the school principal, said some students used to think that misbehavior like smoking would make them look cool, so the school has chosen role models for them, according to a report of Zhengzhou-based Henan Business News.
Twenty-eight behavioral characteristics are needed to become a “macho boy”, such as having neatly groomed, not long hair, not dressing strangely, respecting girls and admiring heroes, according to a notice on the school website.
The characteristics of “cute and clever girls” include not roughhousing with boys, having self-respect and decency, the notice said.
In its working plan for this semester, the school said that it will teach students to form good habits, such as “writing well, walking well and speaking well”, as part of its social etiquette education.
A teacher from the school who asked to remain anonymous told China Daily that the art students are not so compliant as other students, so the school had to form a code of conduct to keep them from being so rebellious.
Xiao Yuan, an art student from Zhengzhou High School, a different school, said she understood the reasoning behind the code, but she had her own ideas.
“Some say high school students can’t tell right from wrong sometimes and this code will remind us to be kind, not wicked,” she said.
“But the students should make up their own minds to become whatever they like and should not all be the same.”
Guo Fang, a student in her last year at Anyang Foreign Language High School, said that the code is too strict, and that it might limit normal interaction between boys and girls.
“Open-minded girls will be labeled ‘bad students’ with this code, which is unfair,” Guo said.
Some parents also expressed concern about the code, saying that it is improper to set a unified standard for students to follow and learn.
Liu Dan, whose daughter was in Zhengzhou High School, said the code will make some students lose self-confidence because they might be not so “masculine” as the code requires.
Cao Wanchen contributed to this story.