More than a dozen children in a primary school in China’s northern Shanxi province have been suspended from classes for wearing short skirts, a local official said on Monday, after parents complained of “disturbing” behaviour.

The principal, Wang Xiaoli, said the children were suspended after their skirts “did not conform with the traditional dress code”.

The principal said the school had been told by the local government that the students had “unreasonably and deliberately” violated rules of dress code and “foolishly” decided to wear the skirts.

It was the second time in a week that a principal in China has had to intervene in an incident involving a student.

In August, the principal of a primary education centre in Shijiazhuang province, in central China, said she had asked students not to wear short skirts and asked teachers not to “obstruct the proper work”.

In that case, a video of the incident was released online and the principal was subsequently suspended.

In the case of the Shanxi case, Wang said that parents had complained about “disturbances” in the school.

The principal was suspended for six days.

A video of a school principal being suspended from work is seen in this handout photo courtesy of the People’s Daily newspaper, September 19, 2018.

In a statement posted on the school’s website, the district said it had ordered the suspension of the principal and that disciplinary measures were being taken.

“We sincerely apologize for the parents’ dissatisfaction and the trouble caused by the students’ actions,” it said.

The school said it would “take a thorough and independent investigation” to determine whether the students violated rules, adding that it had also launched a complaint with the education authorities.

China’s most populous province of Shanxi, home to more than two million people, is home to about 30 million students.