Amid losses, Japan determined to reopen schools

By Jay Alabaster

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I understand the parents grief,,,yet it is really unfair for some of them to turn their anger on the one surviving teacher who along with the now dead teachers did everything in their ability to help their students to survive, if they hadn't thought of the children and just of themselves then there would be even less surviving children

i feel so sorry for Junji Endo sensei,,,to have lost his colleagues, the many students, the school in ruins, (possibly his outside life is in ruins too , his living quarters, family ???) and then to face the brunt of parents misdirected anger and grief, that is too much for a person alone to cope with GAMBATTE!

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Horrible doesnt even begin to describe it. I cant imagine what the sole surviving teacher must be going through. If I had lost my child, as did these parents, I would want my questions answered. Other schools nearby were heavily damaged but had no deaths. It poses questions that the pain of dealing with loss would be projected upon. You cant blame the parents for asking, nor the teacher for not answering. But as a reader who suffered no loss at all, I am more than curious about this question. So times it by infinite billions for the parents.

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These parents are in shock. The teacher needs support, and probably does not have it. The organizational structure needs to be reinforced there.

People in general need to re-examine this whole thing.

In Fukushima and elsewhere, people are being convinced that there is something that reasonably could have been done to prevent this or that. It leads them to point fingers rather than address the immediate problems.

My view, backed by what I hear from many experts and careful consideration, is that these disasters overwhelmed EVERY system and countermeasure that had been installed, no matter how expensive, well planned, well practiced or executed. At a meeting I went to last week, even the disaster response teams apologized for being delayed. By up to an hour... which I think is astounding. EVERYTHING WORKED! It just was not enough. If by some miracle, someone finds something that worked, which I emphasize has not been found, then it is inconceivable that it could be applied successfully and rationally everywhere.

It is so easy to look from far away and point fingers, but if you did not feel the quake in Sendai, or see the waves coming in, you just have no idea.

Woulda, shoulda, coulda are phrases that should be banned for a year.

Let me propose my odd world view. I forgive and understand human nature that I saw before 3.11. I am much more judgmental about what I have seen since. This disaster has brought out the absolute best and the absolute worst in human nature.

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My own children never wanted to go to school as much as they did after the quake. They really do need the routine and their friends.

Our community got specific requests from the affected areas and they indicate the priorities for getting kids back into their school routines: first they wanted graduation clothing, dresses, etc. so that graduating students could look nice, then warm clothes that could be worn to school, then stationery items, then spring clothing. The call went out in our community and it was organized by junior high school students.

Everybody ran out of gas. This whole area was cut off. So the students grabbed a box of donated items and started walking. 15 km? 20 km to Natorii? Off they went. Down the road. They walked all that stuff in to affected areas and made it back by nightfall.

That was the day the embassy called and told me I could leave. Yeah. Right. Somebody else could have my seat.

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klein2-"It is so easy to look from far away and point fingers, but if you did not feel the quake in Sendai, or see the waves coming in, you just have no idea." Asking questions is a bit different than pointing fingers. Parents are asking Because they have no idea, as am I. It is reasonable to ask What went wrong? Why my child but not others? Why this school but not the next? What did the teacher see? What did he hear? why the bridge and not the mountain? Parents have to ask- their hearts are broken

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perhaps the answers will give them the tiniest shred of peace or closure...

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It is reasonable to ask What went wrong?

Maybe, but is it reasonable to get angry towards people who could not possibly have seen all that happened when they cannot provide answers? I think not.

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There are empty school buildings all over Tokyo and in Kanagawa. They could be used for sheltering families, and set up as schools too. The government needs to think this out.

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That sorts the students but what about their living quarters for their families, their jobs and incomes?

Things are way more complicated right now. Many posters here are already slamming japan for housing families in schools, etc.

Plus, many people are not happy with the goverments choices on relocation as been reported on TV.

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