The Seoul Metropolitan Government on Thursday proclaimed a controversial ordinance on the protection of students'human rights, which includes banning corporal punishment and allowing freedom in hairstyles and clothing.
The students'rights ordinance, passed by the Seoul Metropolitan Council last month, has invited public dispute for some of its controversial clauses such as freedom of sexual preference and freedom to organize rallies on school grounds.
The ordinance came into effect immediately after it was published by the city government in its official weekly gazette released on the day.
Seoul has become the third in the country to have such an ordinance for students' human rights following Gyeonggi Province and Gwangju Metropolitan City.
However, it remains doubtful whether the ordinance, one of major projects pushed by Kwak No-hyun, the liberal superintendent of the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, will take effect in the city's elementary, middle and high schools, as well as kindergartens, from the start of the spring semester in March.
Shortly after the proclamation, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, which has long opposed the ordinance, filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court seeking to nullify the ordinance.
It also submitted a petition requesting the suspension of the ordinance until the court makes its decision. "The ordinance includes a number of articles that have been established without social consensus, such as freedom of sexual preference," the education ministry was quoted by Yonhap news agency as saying. "We also see that there have been procedural flaws in the course of its announcement," it said.
The court is expected to make a decision as early as next month.