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Teachers given prison terms over 2017 Japan avalanche deaths


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This was such an unnecessary tragedy. It was my favorite spot for cross-country skiing. It is an area where no one skiied in late March because of the well-known danger of an avalanche especially if snow falls on a refrozen rain-drenched hill. The teachers were warned by everyone around that just because it was the only available date for the student outing they should cancel. I am heartbroken for the students and their families.

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"Club activities and other educational settings have historically been treated as sanctuaries, meaning it was rare for teachers to be held criminally accountable. However, in recent years, cases where negligence has been evident have led to prosecutions and guilty verdicts," said Mori.

It is good that the situation is corrected, it is surprisingly common to hear about situations on club activities and school trips that would be unthinkable in any other developed country because of huge risks, if anything the surprising part is that not more of those situations ends up in tragedy as in this case. Teachers did not have to worry as in other professions about facing criminal charged for irresponsible behavior.

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Two year sentence is not long enough.

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I am concerned about the chilling effect. Ultimately, if you don't want accidents, you have to keep the students indoors. Then you won't have to be responsible for anything.

Further, people that have conducted more intentional crimes: Taibatsu or deliberately over-exercising the students have gotten away without even suspended sentences. I get the deaths are tragic but there is some disbalance here.

People need to put themselves in the shoes of the teacher who is in the position of having to refuse a bunch of enthusiastic students. There is a chance nothing would happen, after all.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I was in Nasu on the day this terrible tragedy occurred. That morning,after a lovely white snowfall, we heard siren after siren around 8:30 or 9. We presumed that a building had caught fire somewhere on the mountainside. On our way home, we stopped for an early lunch at a locally run restaurant. The waitress told us that there had been a terrible accident on the mountain.

We continued to monitor the news for days and I concluded then that the teachers had been very negligent, going against the misgivings of other staff and a student or two.

The ski slope next to where the students died is where my children had learned to ski. Even now I can’t drive near there without offering a wish for the repose of all those young men whose lives were cut short.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

No sarcasm intended, I am honestly just curious. Are there any case studies or examples of teachers calling off a student excursion because of adverse conditions? If so, how did the school administrators respond? In addition, can teachers refuse such assignments if they feel the risk and responsibility exceeds the benefit?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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