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3 Kanagawa teachers disciplined for various infractions

58 Comments

Three school teachers in Kanagawa Prefecture have been disciplined recently for various infractions, according to TV reports. A 48-year-old teacher at a Chigasaki school driving home from a restaurant was pulled over and found to have imbibed two beers before getting behind the wheel.

The teacher reportedly told police he was having trouble at work, and had completely forgotten about the drunk driving laws. Japan introduced much more severe drunk driving policies countrywide several years ago after a string of fatal accidents.

Another teacher from the Yamato City school district faced six months disciplinary leave for allegedly breaking a student's nose in the course of administering physical punishment, the board of education said. The teacher chose to voluntarily resign.

In the third incident, a teacher is currently serving three months disciplinary leave for giving massages to female students.

The Kanagawa Board of Education issued a statement, saying, “We regret losing the trust of the people of Kanagawa in light of these incidents. We apologize sincerely.”

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It would take more than two beers to forget about the drunk-driving laws... at least six would be necessary, I think.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

and had completely forgotten about the drunk driving laws.

Sounds like that old Steve Martin routine, "I forgot armed robbery was against the law..."

4 ( +4 / -1 )

Teacher punched a kid in the nose? How shocking. We all know you punch them in the back of the head or throat in order to not leave any marks.

2 ( +3 / -2 )

why such lenient punishments. surely punching a student in nose is assault. is assault not a crime in safety japan?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"found to imbibed two beers"the translator must have looked this one, up according to the dictionary it is described as "formal often humorous" was he referring to the article !!!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If I were forced by gunpoint to rank the three incidents, I would have to pick the third one as the least objectionable. Just making an observation.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"giving massages to female students"?! wtf?!? he's not fired??

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Men don't give under 18 year old girls massages. Especially teachers. Assaulting students to extent of breaking a nose should secure a bed in prison. Drinking in your own time is nothing to do with your job. It is an invasion of people's private lives.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I would have to pick the third one as the least objectionable. Just making an observation

Actually, I'd pick the drink driving as least objectionable. Idiotic, yes, but the teacher is not harming the students in any way.

The second case is physical assault, and the third is sexual harassment/assault.. they should both be fired.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The guy drinking shouldn't have been given the boot, the other two sound like monsters and should be in jail.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"I forgot about the Japanese law". Good one! Giving massages, huh? What grade did the teach? I'll bet High School!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The Kanagawa Board of Education issued a statement, saying, “We regret losing the trust of the people of Kanagawa in light of these incidents. We apologize sincerely.”

Broken Nose?? Massages??

Yeah yeah yeah, they think that by apologizing their crimes will be forgotten. Typical attitude in this country. I tell you, the gods help that Teacher that dares to touch of my children...his/her body will never be found again.

NO ONE has the right to touch my kids, period.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Wow

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"I forgot about the Japanese law". Good one! Giving massages, huh? What grade did the teach? I'll bet High School!

Yes, how convenient...I may forget some of the laws too when dealing with one of them...

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@sillygirl

why such lenient punishments. surely punching a student in nose is assault. is assault not a crime in safety japan?

Because this is JAPAN!!!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@Asagao

Men don't give under 18 year old girls massages. Especially teachers. Assaulting students to extent of breaking a nose should secure a bed in prison. Drinking in your own time is nothing to do with your job. It is an invasion of people's private lives.

Your first two points are correct, except that a Teacher that massages or assaults a student will NEVER go to prison, not in this country at least. Your third point? Common sense. What we do in our private time is our business, whether we want to drink ourselves to oblivion or dress like a clown. But again, this is Japan, so here you are expected to be a TEACHER 24/7 regardless. Drinking, Partying, Enjoying too much away from the school is considered inappropriate behavior. In fact, as a Teacher, you are expected to look after your students as if you were the parent. I've known of a few cases of teachers that were driven to commit suicide and others ended up in mental hospitals.

Not all Teachers are scum like the ones featured in this article. There are plenty of down-to-earth kind and hardworking teachers out there. Too bad there is always a rotten apple among them.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

"Because this is JAPAN!!! yeah, sure, teachers in other countries never do anything illegal, right ? stupid argument as always

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Readers, please keep the discussion civil and do not snipe at each other.

Why does the school get involved if the teacher has a beer or two after work and then gets into trouble with the police.

Sure he is an idiot for drink driving, but I fail to see what right or business the school has to punish him. Talk about living in a nanny state.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"the punishments are usually more severe than the ones handed down here" Not true at all. Teachers' unions are very strong in the US, they get away with lots of things. It takes a lot to fire one teacher. I understand you try very hard to put down Japan about anything and everythihg but you need to try harder next time, and you use LOL too often, LOL

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The punching is clearly the worst incident. Sounds like teacher 1 made an innocent mistake, and while 2 beers may be illegal it's hardly rip-roaring drunk. The third teacher may have been an athletic trainer or a coach, so it could be not as bad as it sounds.

Anyway, I'm not a real big fan of teachers being shamed nationally for these sorts of issues. Discipline them for sure but does it need to be publicized beyond the school and the families involved?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Let me get this right! (smile). Fighting and drunk driving warrants termination of employment as a teacher, but massaging (wink) high school girls equals ONLY a three month suspension. Hmmm....and you wonder why it happens?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"I have the RIGHT to spit down on my country if I want" True, and I have the right to point out your ignorance

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

This reminds me of a time last year when a teacher in a school in my area got caught drink driving (there was no official statement of how many he'd had, but word on the street is that it was 3). He got fired, and all teachers employed under the same BOE (we're talking around 500 teachers, including ALTs) had to attend a traffic safety seminar.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"You know you totally ruined this thread with your fallacy, right" you are at fault as much as I am. I would leave normal comments if I didn't have to see you ranting every time i come to JT

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

i forgot about drunk driving laws in JP? wow! he is suppossed to set an example. touching female students or any student isn't acceptable either.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Actually, teachers in the US really do get more severe punishments. It would be unthinkable to place a teacher facing sexual harrassment charges on administrative leave. As far as I know, teachers in Japan are government employees and enjoy a great deal of benefits because of this. I'm no expert though - that might depend on age of the children being taught.

Anyhow, teacher's unions are generally in a very weak position in the US and teachers are universally low paid, overworked, and never, ever forgiven for infractions. A teacher at my old high school is looking at 10 YEARS in prison for doing the same thing Kanagawa Teacher #3 got away with a suspension for.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Dude who drank the beers couldn't save it until he got home!? C'mon. And the idiot touching girls, GO GET LAID SERIOUSLY, PAY A STREETWALKER IF YOU HAVE TO BUT LEAVE THE JAILBAIT ALONE (I'm just being a jerk on that one). And the bully who broke the kid's nose, not saying its right but what the heck did the kid do to for the teacher to go that far? On another note, how is the troll getting away with all this crap without incurring moderator wrath!?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

HumanTarget

In the US, he wouldn't even have been violating the law.

Why did you feel the need to introduce the US in your comment? Just curious...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

To emphasize that it wasn't as illegal as the other infractions, I guess. Also note two beers was way, way below the legal limit in Japan until a few years ago.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Readers, please stay on topic. The U.S. is not relevant to this discussion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The first case had nothing to do with its professional duties. It is a purely private matter and I don't know why he should be punished by the school board. Of course, he should receive a fine and some points on his driving license, but how is this related to his job?

The two other cases are straightforward: any physical abuse should result in immediate dismissal. Giving massage to female students is inappropriate and should also result in punishment from the school board.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Three school teachers in Kanagawa Prefecture have been disciplined recently for various infractions, according to TV reports.

I'm not sure how many times I will have to sigh myself when I glance at the news articles that do give as little substance as gossip magazine. TV reports? What sort of report are you referring to? Hello?? We're not in Journalism 101. It really makes me wonder if Japan is ready to maintain with their integrity of journalism in the age of social networking and digital divide.

The Kanagawa Board of Education issued a statement, saying, “We regret losing the trust of the people of Kanagawa in light of these incidents. We apologize sincerely.”

A better journalism would provide more in-depth coverage that goes beyond the same old cliché spewing out from the education bureau's mouth.

Moderator: We publish as much information as we get at the time from official sources, news releases and news conferences and we add tidbits to it from various TV news reports. It is not always possible to answer every little detail in a story.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@ Amerijap,

I don't think JT is actually deploying journalists for small stories like this. And the bigger news agencies with Tokyo beaureus have bigger fish to fry so I wouldn't count on them sending their top guys out to grill the Kanagawa Board of Education.

The crime beat in any local paper does the exact same thing. Journalism 101 also covers the economic realities of running a news agency in 2011. It's not pretty.

I actually commend JT for using legitimate, trustworthy, international wire services like the AP for bigger stories.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I especially like this part:

I tell you, the gods help that Teacher that dares to touch of my children...his/her body will never be found again.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I cant understand how he could forget that drinking and driving is bad or has the law recently been changed to something beyond drinking and driving?

a little off topic, but why did you use the word imbibed? Its just not a word i hear or see thrown around a lot. why not just use drank or drunk?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The BAC (blood alcohol concentration) limit in Japan is 0.03%.

If you are a male and weigh 70kg and have two 500ml of beer (5%alc), your estimated BAC within one hour will be 0.06%. After two hours of drinking only oolong tea after those two beer, your BAC will still be at the 0.03% limit.

Make your own calculations here: http://www.craftbeer.com/pages/beerology/blood-alcohol-content-calculator

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The BAC (blood alcohol concentration) limit in Japan is 0.03%.

If you are a male and weigh 70kg and have two 500ml of beer (5%alc), your estimated BAC within one hour will be 0.06%. After two hours of drinking only oolong tea after those two beer, your BAC will still be at the 0.03% limit.

Make your own calculations here: http://www.craftbeer.com/pages/beerology/blood-alcohol-content-calculator

This is extremely valuable info, Hisashiburi. I know there are times, like when I take my tea ceremony lesson where the sensei serve us some sake on a little cup and I'm always uneasy whether to drink it or not, afraid of getting arrested and lose my license. But now that I know this..that tiny cup may not be enough to surpass the legal limit after all, especially after a chilled glass of oolongcha. It's not like we get drunk or anything at those lessons..LOL

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There not a lot of people who don't know exactly what their legal BAC % limit is as it depends on various factors such as what the alcohol % of your alcoholic drink was, how many of those drinks you had, your weight (even your BMI) and the time past since your last drink. Installing BAC analyzers at bars, restaurants etc is probably never gonna happen so people will always be responsible themselves. Checking your BAC with your cell phone might be a good option but I don't think lots of people will go that way either. Installing cars with an analyzer perhaps? At an izakaya the other day I was made to read their alcohol drunk driving policy before I could start drinking. At first I was like WTF? but later I thought that was actually mighty responsible from them. Drunk drivers do more often then not cause injury and death to non drivers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The best and easiest solution is: don't drink even a glass of alcohol when you are going to drive within the next few hours! When we go out with the car, my wife and I take turn. We never drink together when one of us has to drive. So when we want to have a date and drink, we go there by train or on foot. Then no need to think about the BAC limit.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Pillar of Society Piglet has spoken!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

IMHO If you have the money to drink out -after driving there-, you have the money to take an unten daiko. If you don't have the money for an unten daiko, you don't have the money to drink out .

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If you don't have the money for an unten daiko, you don't have the money to drink out .

What a strange comment!

Do you know how much a beer at the izakaya costs?

You can drink alcoholic drinks "all you can" (nomihoudai) for 2 hours at Watami for a mere 1,100yen.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What would you say if a part time teacher punched a boy in the face and then, 2 weeks later, was caught showing a female student how to breath properly by placing his hand on her tummy and rubbing it for her? The other teachers, who were appalled at this (and they are all foreigners) were told there is nothing we can do about it. We all make mistakes. We were told that we don't understand Japanese culture!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Nowhere in the article does it say that the teacher punched the student in the face

Learn to read!

breaking a student’s nose in the course of administering physical punishment

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Some amazing excuses here.

You can picture the scenes:

PRINCIPAL You were drunk!

TEACHER Oh, I only had a couple of cans. In any case, it wasn't beer, sir, it was happoshu!

PRINCIPAL Happoshu IS beer!

TEACHER Is it?

PRINCIPAL What about the drunk driving laws?

TEACHER The drunk driving laws! Right! I'd forgotten about them.

PRINCIPAL And you, Smith, what were you doing with that girl in your classroom after everybody had gone home?

TEACHER Just giving her a massage, sir!

PRINCIPAL A massage? I don't believe it!

TEACHER OK. I'll come clean. What put you on to it, sir?

PRINCIPAL She left her underwear in the waste basket.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What would you say if a part time teacher punched a boy in the face and then, 2 weeks later, was caught showing a female student how to breath properly by placing his hand on her tummy and rubbing it for her? The other teachers, who were appalled at this (and they are all foreigners) were told there is nothing we can do about it. We all make mistakes. We were told that we don't understand Japanese culture!

You see, these are the type of posts that makes me cringe horribly, because I know in my heart I have heard about this before. There is nothing you can do, apparently, when a fellow teacher gets caught doing such unspeakable things to the students why? Because it is NOT your problem, they say. They even try to sweep it off under the carpet so the parents, PTA or BOE doesn't find out about it. They go as far as to convince the student in question that there is no need to make a fuzz about what happened and to think about his fellow classmates, what would "they" think? In other words, to just keep QUIET~~ That's one of the reason why I keep both eyes OPEN with my children.....cause you never know!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

RECOMMENDED READING

This article is very informative on alcohol percentages in the blood:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_alcohol_content

0 ( +1 / -1 )

johninnaha: are you intoxicated atm?

Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. Please search for Bloodalcoholcontent in Wikipedia to check for alternative titles or spellings. Search for "Bloodalcoholcontent" in existing articles. Look for pages within Wikipedia that link to this title.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

OMG! In the third incident, a teacher is currently serving three months disciplinary leave for giving massages to female students. I can just imagine so old smelly oily, greasy fart of an OYAJI telling his students, ok, Im really good at massages, come over here, that is it, yes sit on my laps ok thats right and let this old pervert get away with felling up his students! What a sick, sick mofo!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The teacher in the first incident was sufficeintly inebriated to have had a memory lapse in relation to the law, the second teacher violently assaulted a student, for this infraction instead of a parent reacting with violence in return they may consider taking a legal action for damages, hit someone in the wallet and the lesson they will learn is much more efficeint. The third teacher has now earned a reputation bordering on child molesiation and may be considered unworthy to serve in a position of trust in the teaching proffesion. In the latter two two cases both should be permenently dismissed from thier positions

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Shishashiburi-shan!

Hic!

Profushe ajolipies, ajoly, apologies!

I did have jusht a couple of cansh, but they were happyshu and I had forgotten about the no poshting on the internet while drunking, sorry, dinking, I mean drinking.

I think.

Anyway, try thish one!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_alcohol_content

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Anyway, as I wrote above, I don't think the first case is any business for the school board to take care of. If you misbehave during your private life (outside of your professional duties), then it's a business between you and the Justice system and it shouldn't involve your employer (unless this is a severe crime like murder or rape).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thankfully Japan has a zero tolerance policy when put into action with regards to drunk or impaired driving. No one stuck a gun to anyones head and forced them to drive, and to the idiot teacher that said he forgot....yeah right, and I have some perfectly wonderful swamp land for sale too, interested?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

While I WANT to say that the broken nose was the most serious offense, I don't know the Japanese laws regarding corporal punishment in schools. I grew up in a time where corporal punishment in school was allowed in my country (it isn't now). Even back then a broken nose would have been going too far, but a teacher doing so probably would have been suspended for a time rather than being forced to resign.

Drunk driving? If the perp gets identified as a teacher for a particular school/school district, then they have caused embarassment for the school district and a suspension is appropriate. You can't be a proper role model for students if you're publically exposed as a law breaker and receive no discipline from your employer.

Massaging female students? Highly inappropriate if it's just your basic neck or back massage, highly illegal if the massage strayed anywhere else. Based on the fact that the teacher wasn't charged with molesting the students, I'm going to guess it was only the inappropriate kind. Suspension seems appropriate for this.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Maybe they're being bullied in school...?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@hisashiburi: I was relating an incident from my school. I was not referring to the incident in the article. What I meant to convey is that it is not uncommon for this stuff to happen. it is uncommon for anyone to be punished publicly for it. We suspect that the school was hoping not to incur any publicity, and it is also mendoi to have to get a new teacher, right? Anyway, until the policy of saving face at all costs is changed here, nothing else will change. Most serious infractions are taken care of internally. At our school you are punished by being put in a bad office area, or even put in the disciplinary department...ironically!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It seems more likely that the driver forgot that the drink driving laws in Japan changed in the last few years, rather than that he completely forgot. It's not so long ago that 2 beers would have been within the legal limit for an average sized Japanese man. Not as ridiculous a situation as it sounds.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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