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Elementary school teacher arrested for hugging young boy

39 Comments

Police in Tokyo have arrested a 38-year-old elementary school teacher on suspicion of committing an indecent act against a young boy by hugging him in the school parking lot.

According to police, the incident occurred on the afternoon of March 29 during school spring break at the school in Toshima Ward. NHK reported that Junji Ishida, who lives in Koga City, Ibaraki Prefecture, was waiting for the boy in the parking lot. Security camera footage showed Ishida approach the boy on the sidewalk and take him back to the school parking lot where he hugged him.

The boy reported the incident to his mother. Police said Ishida had admitted to hugging the child but denied any intent to sexually molest him, He was quoted as saying, “I hugged him out of gratitude and a desire to support him.”

The school said Ishida has taken a leave of absence from his teaching position since the beginning of April.

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39 Comments
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Hugging is now indecent. smh

16 ( +30 / -14 )

What?

I am all for protecting kids from molestation, of course - but come on, a hug?

11 ( +25 / -14 )

Sounds OTT but needs to be investigated. Did the teacher also do it to other students previously?

6 ( +11 / -5 )

What? How is a hug indecent? Is there just supposed to be no physical contact between adults and children now?

3 ( +14 / -11 )

What?

I am all for protecting kids from molestation, of course - but come on, a hug?

I'm guessing you do not know Japanese culture well.

A man hugging someone else's child in Japan is very, very odd behaviour and raises more than a few red flags. The fact the child and parent reported it means it was very unwelcome. Taking the boy back to a secluded parking lot makes the incident even more suspicious.

6 ( +22 / -16 )

As often happens this is probably only part of the story... Why has the teacher been on leave of absence? Why was he waiting? Was he being watched? Previous history of dubious behavior?

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Leo Buscaglia must be turning over in his grave.He was the first to state and promote the concept of humanity's need for hugs: 5 to survive, 8 to maintain, and 12 to thrive.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

Fighto!Today  04:57 pm JST

I'm guessing you do not know Japanese culture well.

I hate comments like that.

Just focus on what the other person said.

Stop trying to crawl into the heads of people you've never met, presuming to be privy to what they know or don't know.

A man hugging someone else's child in Japan is very, very odd behaviour and raises more than a few red flags.

Thank you for further proving my point. A man gets arrested because his behavior is deemed "odd" and thus automatically means that we're allowed to consider "red flag behavior" as his "default position."

I'll say it again: A female teacher NEVER would have been arrested for this. But while her behavior is seen as fine, a man doing it is automatically seen as "odd" to the point of deserving being charged with a crime.

All because he's a man. Thus, it's okay to presume him guilty of something in a way that we never would toward a woman.

The fact the child and parent reported it means it was very unwelcome.

That doesn't automatically make it a crime. Again, you're ignoring the fact -- yes, I'll go ahead and call it a fact -- that a female teacher never would have been arrested for this.

Taking the boy back to a secluded parking lot makes the incident even more suspicious.

Secluded? Where in the article does it say that it's secluded?

It comes nowhere close to ever saying that.

But let's read the most sinister scenario into this, right? Again, in a way in which it would never be read if this was a woman teacher.

10 ( +17 / -7 )

A hug by a teacher seems normal for anyone under about age 12, but only if the kid needed it or it was part of a classroom exercise. I remember a hugging exercise in 3rd grade where we all hugged each other as a way to understand that we were all humans with feelings. I suppose someone had said something mean to someone else and this was the way to end that, at least for the class.

Whether a hug is appropriate for any individual student is a judgement call, Getting the wrong judgement would be easy. Maybe the teacher needed a hug. Is that so bad?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Have y'all watched Netflix series "see me after school"? A teacher fell for her student who is in middle school, repeated middle school. Of course it's a show but it's a process to normalize adult and young kid romance which in this series normalize romance between a woman and young boy who is her student.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Have y'all watched Netflix series "see me after school"? A teacher fell for her student who is in middle school, repeated middle school. Of course it's a show but it's a process to normalize adult and young kid romance which in this series normalize romance between a woman and young boy who is her student.

It's not the first series to cover that topic - at least not in Japan.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@Fighto I agree with the fact that the teacher may have known the cameras was there and the fact that he took the boy back to a secluded parking lot I agree makes the incident even more suspicious. I think the cameras played more of a role in that.

The fact the child and parent reported it means it was very unwelcome. Taking the boy back to a secluded parking lot makes the incident even more suspicious.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Whether a hug is appropriate for any individual student is a judgement call, Getting the wrong judgement would be easy. Maybe the teacher needed a hug. Is that so bad?

Totally irrelevant whether the "teacher needed a hug".

The hug was not welcomed by the only person who matters here - the child. It was reported to the police who clearly deemed it an indecent act.

Adults cannot go around making unwanted physical contact with children that are not theirs. Ever.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Totally irrelevant whether the "teacher needed a hug".

Would you withhold a hug from anyone who needed it, assuming they weren't very ill and coughing or smelled really bad? I'm glad we live in different worlds. There are many cultures where people kiss cheeks and hug on every meeting. It was a little odd at first, but over time, I came to tolerate it in the way intended.

Adults cannot go around making unwanted physical contact with children that are not theirs. Ever.

I disagree (there are situations where controlling a child for their own safety is required), though in a parking lot when the child is not in distress or any danger definitely would be a time NOT to touch them. But I suppose you've never misread another person, ever?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

A lot of people are protesting in the comments that a hug is innocent. So, you would have no problem with him hugging your child if you had or have one of that age? Have you thought about the fact that maybe the kid didn't like it so he told his mother? Or maybe he doesn't have a say in the matter? If it were a young girl, would that make a difference? Can he hug the kid anytime for "gratitude" and "support?"

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20240428/k10014435711000.html

NHK as well as other Japanese outlets report that the teacher was arrested for hugging the boy without his consent.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I see little children get hug by adults,they know,it something I would not do

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Elementary school teacher...WTF?

poor kids!

0 ( +5 / -5 )

A hug is not, and never has been a sexual act.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Mr KiplingApr. 29  05:34 pm JST

As often happens this is probably only part of the story... Why has the teacher been on leave of absence? Why was he waiting? Was he being watched? Previous history of dubious behavior?

Read it carefully. He was not ON a leave of absence, he TOOK a leave of absence AFTER this happened.

A HUG?!!! He has police troubles for a giving a student a hug?!!!! This is exactly why young people gorw up with issues. Kids needs affection and made to feel they are wanted in the world.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

what a "society" standards...

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

No wonder this country is not gaining any more kids. Just gaining more funeral homes. Japanese humans are not used to intimacy anymore, while physical contact, even in its purest sense is being maligned as something dirty. There's just too much paranoia about the post-Johnny's molestation scandal that this country is now facing.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

I see a lot of comments talking about how it is a problem because the teacher was a male but it is more so that the hug was probably forced and made the child feel uncomfortable. Like "why are you hugging me when you normally don't?" If my child was in that situation I would want them to do the same thing and tell me what happened. There is already too many situations where worse happens and the damage has already been done. Be respectful and respect boundaries especially the boundaries of children

1 ( +2 / -1 )

it is more so that the hug was probably forced and made the child feel uncomfortable. 

Exactly. That is the entire point. This contact was unwelcome and unwanted by the child - hence the report to police.

There are individuals on here literally claiming an adult should have the right to hug a child that is not theirs - if "they feel like they hug".

Yes. Creepy.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sounds harmless and innocent but as a teacher, you need to be professional. Considering that this is Japan where physical contact is not common and actually frowned upon, as a teacher he should've known better. Best policy, don't initiate close contact with your students like a hug, A pat on the head or shoulder may be as much as you can do.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Many years ago while coaching soccer, we would put an arm around the boys / girls shoulders if they were playing badly and give encouragement.

Soon after, in USA, it was considered an indecent act and we coaches could no longer 'hug' the players to give praise or encouragement.

You may have noticed that American coaches usually have their arms crossed against their chest and arms lie there!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

My first feeling could this article could have been poorly written or not saying the real story behind the story.

Secondly I am an Elementary school teacher, Kids voluntary jump on me, ask me to lift them up, and hug me too. Maybe its that they find it acceptable to foreigners and not Japanese teachers. If the kid reported it to the Mother then it means something more uncomfortable happened.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

If a women gave a boy or a girl a hug would this even have been an issue. Would the parent even call the school. Now someone has accused a male teacher of being a paedophile. Not only has the person impacted him as a teacher but as man. And to those that say “it was unwanted” we don’t know. There isn’t enough info in the article. He reported or He told his mother about the “incident” what was the “initial” full situation ? Why was he waiting for the student in a car park? Even if it was inappropriate, as a teacher our intent is important. There was no intention of anything sexual. But of course you’ve never don’t anything “inappropriate ”Sometimes we as humans get it wrong. Sometimes therapeutic touch is important, and that’s no in anyway inappropriate. This is why many men will walk away from kids needing help, not get involved, or not wanting to intervene .

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Too many holes in the article.

was this after school hours or during school hours

what happened after the car park?

3 time?

4.was the boy on his way home? Run out of school? And what was the support the child needed?

Why did they go BACK to school? Was there a fight at school? Problems with classmates?

This is such a short poor quality article, from a poor news source and it sure as heck got people judging already. I’d like to know where the original source of this article is.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Maybe touching other kids isn't a good thing but getting arrested for it is just too much. They've got him on camera doing what he was accused of, "hugging". He should be able to walk out of that jail in no time unless they FORCE him to confess to something.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/eed959e1d5ae5ac18fc36921ad64d239010b15f9

Additional information, including:

The police are investigating the suspect for further crimes

抱き締める (signifying a close embrace), is how the boy described the hug to his parents

The suspect is alleged to have ambushed the student (待ち伏せる)

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Hugging is 'indecent' now?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Did the teacher do more than a hug like touching his penis?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

During my elementary school days in the 1950s, our elderly female teacher would take turns holding each student on her lap. I guess she would be arrested these days.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Further detail: None of the Japanese reports I've seen mentions that the incident occurred on school property.

In fact, as the above-linked story mentions, the boy was on his way home- having gone out, but not to school (it's spring vacation) - when the incident occurred.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Hugging is 'indecent' now? What a stupid time we live in!

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

BRSToday  12:57 pm JST

https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/eed959e1d5ae5ac18fc36921ad64d239010b15f9

Additional information, including:

The police are investigating the suspect for further crimes

Thanks for that. A little bit more nuance to the article with some other possible cases. I don’t think a hug is cause for an indecent assault charge , however inappropriate touching would warrant charges. Some Hugs can be appropriate, helpful, and supportive while some hugs can be inappropriate. Nuance! Nuance is everything. A crying child, having a hard time, being bullied, might need just need that support at the right time. But it’s all about the situation, banning hugs! I hope as a society we don’t. Have we become too paranoid? but if he did something inappropriate then he should be charged. We as adults know the difference between a supportive teacher and an inappropriate teacher.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@Fighto is completely right on this.

Lots of "What's wrong with hugging?" comments, but such posters are apparently ignorant about Japanese culture. Some parents don't even hug their kids here. Weird? Yeah, to us maybe, but that's how it is.

A teacher who decides to "approach the boy on the sidewalk and take him back to the school parking lot where he hugged him" IS... yes, IS... a red flag. In fact it screams "****pervert". Some really naive posts here.

And @Quo Primum manages to slip in an irrelevant gripe against women (Nice one, sad sack) ... "A female teacher NEVER would have been arrested for this". Correct. A woman would never have been so bloody stupid as to have done this!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

You can't touch anyone without consent. Not men, not women, and certainly not children.

Children are taught to obey authority figures. This has been recognized as a danger to kids, which is why these days we teach kids about "bad touch" and let them know it's okay to tell grownups "no" and then to let mom and dad know.

This is also why teacher knows very good and well that teachers are not allowed to touch students. And the very fact that the kid felt uncomfortable enough to tell his parents is significant.

You know, I very often feel this forum is full of rapists and child molesters they way you guys so often go to bat for the perp when someone gets arrested for sexual abuse or assault.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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