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12-year-old girl killed by bullet train left note hinting at bullying

18 Comments

A 12-year-old girl who was killed after she walked onto the tracks and was hit by a bullet train in Tendo, Yamagata Prefecture, on Jan 7, left a note in which she hinted she had been bullied at school.

The local board of education said the girl's father had found the note and asked the school to survey the students at the school on whether they had seen his daughter being bullied, Fuji TV reported Wednesday.

The contents of the note have not been made public.

The incident occurred at around 8 a.m. as the Tsubasa No. 128 was heading for Tokyo. The girl apparently climbed over a fence to get onto the tracks.

The train driver told police he saw the girl and applied the brakes but could not stop in time. Police were able to identify the girl, who was killed instantly, from personal belongings left at the scene.

Police said the girl left home at around 7 a.m. to attend the first day of school after the holidays.

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18 Comments
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Unfortunately its not as simple as saying yes, she was bullied. Maybe she was. Or maybe she was, like some, overly sensitive to things other kids forget about in minutes. She may have been depressed for reasons she herself did not understand, but with bullying being a buzzword, latched onto that.

All I know for sure is that its too bad her plight was not noticed before she took her life so that she could have gotten help.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Taking your own life is no simple thing. It is the last resort to being unable to cope with life as it is. To say that she was overly sensitive is simply not true. Whatever happened, it was an unbearable situation for her. So sad...and yes...so unfortunate nobody seemed to notice her plight beforehand.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I think communication among parents and sons/daughters is basic. Japanese sometimes are reluctant to report bullying, because they may be considered weak and they are strongly taught into the japanese society to endure. That's ok, but can't be used as a license for abuse. So again, efficient communication is key.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Only 12 years old! Bullying again!? My sympathies go out to her family, friends and the train driver. At least one teacher from every school should be trained in dealing with bullied children, or know where to send them to get the proper counseling/help. Set up a private, confidential help line for the kids or better yet, ask the individually on a regular basis... 'are you being bullied?'. Sometimes being direct with people who are reluctant to respond is the best way to get a response.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In spite of that even their family can not know the fact of bully, how teacher knows that? You know, stupidly, Japanese believe the endurance is beautiful.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In spite of that even their family can not know the fact of bully, how teacher knows that?

Because the teacher is in the classroom with the kids every day. If they don't know, they aren't doing a very good job, as they are not properly observing their students. Teachers generally spend more time with children than the families do, as the kids are in school all day, and in club and/or juku after school. They will only see their families in the evenings.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

This always gets to me. It's a new year, and this is the first one I've read about. Sadly you and I know it won't be the last. No one gets over such a loss. My heat goes out to the family

Mental health is important at any age and teachers parents and professionals need to have the available staff to help them. I don't understand the holding back to help. Something more needs to be done! One thing I'm not seeing is a sense of openness. No one has to point fingers, it actually has no meaning who. Just get it off the minds of youth so they can get on with their lives. When an obstacle is in the way youth needs tools to learn to go around it. Stop looking for scapegoats and deal with the effects. It not worth a child's life. Identifying a bully isn't enough, make them useless in the minds of youth with the knowledge that they are meaningless. If I can see that happening, know schools are organizing parents to have discussions with professionals, laughing at bullies as useless so they can move around them, knowing where to go for help, having clear escalation guidelines, then I would know change can occur. Doing nothing is not an option, and it's just such a waste. This has to stop. It has to

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That is too bad. I have heard of instances where the teacher is also involved, such as a kid who is slow to finish eating, the teacher may single him/her out in ways that could be bullying or prompt bullying from the other students. I think this is a national crisis of mental health and they should present about it on day 1 of each year of school to students and teachers and explain what is bullying, why it is bad, how to stop it, etc.

Even more unfortunately, some here think bullying is good, and a way to cause conformity. I heard at my son's elementary a parent saying that a bullied kid deserved it because he was weak (meaning the bullying would toughen him up I guess).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

When I was bullied at school the teachers always looked the other way. Or they claimed "Nah, it's not serious, just fun! A dog who barks doesn't bite!". Seems nothing has changed since my school days.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just like kids are experts at talking in class when teacher's not looking, they're likely experts at bullying in class when teachers' not looking.

And any incidents that the teacher actually sees will likely be so infrequent that they may think it's "not such a big deal,' but for every incident they DO see, there's probably hundreds of incidents they DON'T see.

What I don't understand is if a kid is so depressed they step in front of a train, what the hell is the parent doing?

Assuming their kid is the school's problem?

This story is pure ADULT FAIL.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Anyone suggesting a teacher should be aware of all instances of bullying, ostracization, mean-spiritedness and general psychological cruelty obviously has never worked at a school. Makes me wonder if they even attended school!

A simple example is you draw a picture. A totally innocent picture. You show everyone in the area, but you don't show the kid that is the everyday target for cruelty. Kid cries. Teacher comes and asks what's up. Kid says they would not show him or her the picture. Other kids say that kid was next but could not wait.

Even if you totally take the bullied kid's side, whatcha gonna do? Make a rule that the bullied kid must be shown pictures from now on?? You do that, and you just singled out the bullied kid.

Look, you cannot MAKE people like someone. All the rules in the world won't ensure equal or fair treatment for all. Some kids have social problems that just cannot be fixed by anybody. Some kids you can truck to every school in the city, and they still won't be able to make a friend. Frankly, the smart ones become hikkikomori. If that is what some kids need, fine by me. Beats having them jump in front of a train.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

From the age of 12 to 16 I was bullied at school - almost drowned once, had rafia tied around my neck in class, a banger in the hood of a coat, and that's without the name-calling and odd punch. The teachers turned a blind eye until my father went to the school (in uniform) and had it out with the head. My parents only realised I was being bullied when I was taken to see the school nurse with a burst lip... I hid it from them. Teachers, unless they can nip it in the bud, are partly to blame for the bullying that goes on in schools

Funny car, I don't think you have a clue about how bullied kids feel. They go to school to learn, and the teachers are there to teach and protect the kids from harm. Any teacher with an ounce of empathy would help the child, contact the parents and get to the bottom of it.

Look, you cannot MAKE people like someone. All the rules in the world won't ensure equal or fair treatment for all. Some kids have social problems that just cannot be fixed by anybody. Some kids you can truck to every school in the city, and they still won't be able to make a friend. Frankly, the smart ones become hikkikomori. If that is what some kids need, fine by me. Beats having them jump in front of a train.

You really are a caring soul aren't you...

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Look, you cannot MAKE people like someone. All the rules in the world won't ensure equal or fair treatment for all. Some kids have social problems that just cannot be fixed by anybody. Some kids you can truck to every school in the city, and they still won't be able to make a friend. Frankly, the smart ones become hikkikomori. If that is what some kids need, fine by me. Beats having them jump in front of a train.

You will find it’s the bullies that have social problems, projecting their own issues on other vulnerable people.

Getting along with people you don’t like is a valuable and essential skill for anyone who wants to work and be part of society, and is definitely something that teachers should be in control of. You don’t even know how this girl was bullied, but I can assure you if a 12 year old takes their own life because of it, it would go further than ‘not being shown a picture’. The dismissive, one-dimensional way you portray bullying shows a lack of appreciation for how serious it is. Suggesting that they should just become hikkikomori is a truly repugnant.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

How many children must die before the bullying is stopped permentantly???

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I hope her heart has found peace.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I hope she "named names" in her note! I am just sad that she had no one to talk to about this...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Funny car, I don't think you have a clue about how bullied kids feel.

How people feel does not change facts. Facts must be dealt with, like them or not. Until the facts are accepted, solutions cannot be found.

Nothing I wrote was meant to cheer anyone up. My eye is on the future. I don't want to see any more people jump in front of trains, especially children.

At the risk of making some people feel bad, here is another fact: Your bullying experience is quite different from hers, doubly so if you did not grow up in Japan. The teachers here are loaded down with the most mind-numbing useless tasks imaginable. Stuff gets by them. Also, bullying here is done one the sly. These kids really know the ropes.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I also feel sorry for the young life that was cut short. But I also feel for the driver of the train, how aweful it must be to live with the memory of killing an innocent girl, even if he couldn't do anything about it. I once drove over a kitten at night, I was upset for weeks. This driver needs some therapy, or else he won't cope.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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