Can having a moustache affect your job status? No, right? Well, that would have been the case if not for a bizarre incident that took place in Pakistan. A teacher, Haseeb Ali Chishti, was sacked from his post at the school. The sacking was attributed to the fact that his moustache gave “liberal ideas” to students.
When IndianExpress.com contacted Chisti, he elaborated the story and said: “So I was hired right before the school term started. I taught for a week before finding out from another colleague that the school directors are looking for my replacement. When I confronted them and asked the reason why I was being replaced they replied that after seeing me in school with my liberal appearance (I questioned what they even meant) they were afraid the female students might become inspired by me. I thought being inspiring is part of a teachers job but evidently here they meant they don’t want their young girls to be inspired to do something indecent. I reminded them of my two years of teaching experience before but they insisted that I was too young and good looking enough to distract their students. At that point I thanked them for showing me their true mentality and left their office. In that environment, I wouldn’t have lasted a month so overall, it wasn’t that bad. I just take things in my stride.”
Chisti narrated his ordeal in a Facebook post, and wrote that he sees “school owners taking pride in their conservative outlook”. He also added that being told “it will distract our girls and faculty” is the “funniest reason for being let go from a job.”
Read the original post here.
Being told ‘your moustache gives liberal ideas to students’ and ‘you’re a young, handsome man… it will distract our girls and faculty’ is probably the funniest reason for being let go from a job but it is also a damning indictment of the mindset prevelant in the education sector in Pakistan.
Increasingly I see schools imposing penalties against students for interacting with the opposite sex, I see school owners taking pride in their “conservative outlook” and shunning programs such as drama and dance for being “vulgar”.
The only thing wrong with a girl talking to a boy in school is the MINDSET that assumes this exchange must be immoral. I long for the day when we won’t have teachers and schools that think like Mohnish Behl back in the 90’s when he says ‘aik larka larki kabhi dost nahi hosaktay ‘ (a platonic friendship can’t exist between the opposite sex).
#tooprettyforschool #toohottobehired #liberalSTACHIST #Supernovasegregationstories
A lot of people strongly reacted to his post and expressed their concern. “Even if the child is never thinking of something like that, such administrative authorities themself encourage and highlight this other side,” one of them said, and another user commented: “Now you see why men don’t have decent moustaches anymore? Our society is unable to handle ‘awesomeness’.”
Adding what he wishes as a theatre teacher, Chisti told IndianExpress.com: “I just think there should be more openness and expression in schools all over. We should teach children to embrace who they are and to help them build strong characters and principles. As a theatre teacher, I always encourage my students to express themselves and get creative. I guess with the moustache my students know I walk the walk.” He also added that he now helps “run an Arts and Theatre collective in Islamabad called Theatre Wallay who are working towards opening an Arts school for underprivileged students in Islamabad so as to groom them in basic literacy, numeracy, life and art skills (carpentry, bharatnatyam, theatre and music etc)”.