national

72 Osaka teachers confess to hitting students in questionnaire

45 Comments

The Osaka Board of Education has carried out a survey of 185 public schools to assess the extent of physical discipline being administered by staff.

The questionnaire was distributed to education professionals at each school, and included questions about using physical violence in an attempt to motivate students.

Of the 185 schools involved in the survey, staff at 33 schools admitted to having hit students, TBS reported Saturday. The responses indicated that 72 staff members admitted to having committed a total of 115 acts of violence against students.

The board says it intends to send a similar questionnaire to students from all 185 schools by the end of the month.

© Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

45 Comments
Login to comment

Teachers who hit students are either too stupid to understand how to motivate students properly or have personal problems they are taking out on the students. Stupid people should not be teachers. Bullies should not be teachers.

12 ( +13 / -2 )

Apparently teachers in Osaka are allowed to assault students - yet not allowed to have a small tattoo as it is "a bad image for the kids." Something is a little warped down there...

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Of the 185 schools involved in the survey, staff at 33 schools admitted to having hit students, TBS reported Saturday. The responses indicated that 72 staff members admitted to having committed a total of 115 acts of violence against students.

This number may be misleading and the wording as well is written here to elicit a response that is probably not in context to the actual actions that took place.

Acts of violence, the term implies assault, and without knowing the situations involved it's really hard to know how the teachers "hit" the students. Example: I have seen teachers kids across the back of their (hard enough to sting, but not hard enough to leave a bruise or any damage) hands with a wooden ruler for an offense, vs seeing a teacher literally kick a kid in the knees and thighs while they were kneeling down in the seiza position along with closed fisted cracks to the head, both are getting hit, but the latter is an assault while the former is a punishment.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The board says it intends to send a similar questionnaire to students from all 185 schools by the end of the month.

Gee I wonder if the numbers will jive...............................NOT bloody likely, my guess is the students numbers will be in the 250-350 range.

Like I have said many a time, this problem we have here, with judo, its EVERYWHERE & pervasive in Japan

1 ( +2 / -1 )

In most workplaces, it's forced overtime, and karoshi. This type of top-down bullying is endemic.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

This is a link to a very interesting paper on taibatsu in Japanese culture. It's a little long but well worth the read.

https://coa.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/ALMTaibatsuJapanForum.pdf

As for the legality of corporal punishment, this is a short history:

Corporal punishment at school is legally prohibited in Japan. The first law prohibiting it was passed in 1879 -- 118 years ago -- when a western-style education system was first introduced. It was repealed, however, in 1885. It was reinstated in 1890, repealed again in 1900, and once again reinstated in 1941, during the war period. These legal reversals occurred each time the education system was changed.

Since the 1940s, therefore, and particularly after World War II, when the American education system was reintroduced, corporal punishment has continuously been legally prohibited -- much earlier than in other developed countries

http://www.nospank.net/japan.htm

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Good...students who behave badly should suffer corporal punishment.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

FOR SHAME. They should be dealt with by the laws of this land. Assault IS a crime, I believe.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Good for the teachers! I've been tempted to slap a student or two, when I see them acting out on the train or in public!

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Assault IS a crime

Not if you are a Japanese high school teacher. I've worked in high schools for years and seen first hand the bullying, intimidation and violence they use as an educational aid. I saw one teacher smack a Jr 3rd grade kid on the top of the head so hard that it knocked him out for 30 seconds or so, just because he forgot to bring his English textbook to school. Of course, the teacher was reprimanded and the kid's parents received a formal apology, bu he should have been facing criminal assault charges. How can these wombats expect to discipline teenagers when they can't discipline themselves?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@kdt3272

I've been tempted to slap a student or two, when I see them acting out on the train or in public!

That's the PARENTS job, not that of a "stranger". Children in Japan have a tendency to be spoilt and as others have said in other articles on the subject, it's usually the kids hitting their parents - who do NOTHING to stop them...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Of course, the teacher was reprimanded and the kid's parents received a formal apology, bu he should have been facing criminal assault charges.

Formal apology? How about exposing the teacher to the media and suing that person's **s off big time. I come from a PR background and that is exactly what I would do! Otherwise, two hits - Me hitting him and him hitting the floor!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Formal apology? How about exposing the teacher to the media and suing that person's **s off big time. I come from a PR background and that is exactly what I would do! Otherwise, two hits - Me hitting him and him hitting the floor!

It's obvious you are neither Japanese nor a student. The kids typically will not hit back at a teacher that hits them, they typically will only abuse the kids that they can.

They should also put out a survey asking the teachers how many times they have been hit by students, it happens more often than people would like to know.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Not if you are a Japanese high school teacher.

Tell that to the guy who just got fired and is being investigated by the Osaka police for slapping the crap out of a basketball player who then committed suicide.

Things like this may have once been the norm, but times are changing. Only problem is though that they, as in the system, is further handicapping teachers, not with the hitting or corporal punishment, but by not giving them any ways to punish kids for breaking rules other than TALKING to the kids.

It is next to impossible to suspend any kids in ES or JHS, HS is a different story because it is not a part of compulsory education and the schools will often times suspend kids for infractions of school rules. I know, I used to teach in a HS and worked in seito shido and was involved with quite a number of kids who were suspended and expelled.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Im guessing the questionar was anonymous? What I want to know is the ages of the offending teachers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Take how many times students require physical discipline to keep order with a daily count. Of that count how many were HIT. I think the final count of being hit is pretty small. So, my point is with all the political correctness that appears to be taking place in Japan that was forced on most Americans. Taking the powers of teachers and parents away has helped to produce better students, better citizens? American society has so many ill mannered people who came from generations of "Someone will teach the children" but who? Parents in America keep losing the right to be a parent, physical discipline. Parents that don't teach their children basic manners, behavior and courtesies at home and send their children off to school and let the teachers have to deal with kids who have no respect for the teachers. Kids reflect what they have or have not been taught at home. Using physical discipline should not be the first choice, but it should be an option when everything else fails. These acts of violence in the surveys, should include. How many times was the student in trouble for something prior, what type of physical discipline? A gentle slap on the butt or hand? How many times were the parents told there is a discipline problem with their child? Sure there are bad teachers, but a lot more parents that think their children will be learn basic manners from SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE, but not from them.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

How can you teach respect with physical/emotional violence?

Violence leads to submission, not to respect. Submission leads to frustration. Frustration leads to violence. The loop is closed and will survive by itself like a virus. This vicious circle MUST be broken.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Violence leads to submission, not to respect. Submission leads to frustration. Frustration leads to violence. The loop is closed and will survive by itself like a virus. This vicious circle MUST be broken.

In a western society yes, but here there is a difference. I agree with what you are saying here but after all the years I have been living here and where I am at things are not like this at all, meaning that while sometimes the loop continues, more often than not it doesnt.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Children are people too. Some people here seem to lose sight of that. You wouldn't like it if your boss smacked you upside the head every time your didn't do your job perfectly, so why condone it for children?

I do, however, think that teachers should have the right to send children out of the class and up to a "study room" if they misbehave, and if they misbehave repeatedly they should be suspended and possibly expelled. This has nothing to do with punishing the children who misbehave, but rather everything to do with protecting the rights of the children who do want to learn in that class.

A final thought, children learn by example. If their example is a teacher who hits children to assert their authority, then why are we surprised that there are so many bullies in Japanese schools?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Are those staffs mistaking the questions as "hitting on the (female students)" or hitting the students. Because, as you know, Japan doesn't have a good reputation about pedophilia between male adult and female children.

They should do a mandatory questionnaire while attaching them with a lie detector machine. I would kill to see that result.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Yubaru: I agree with you in terms of there being no way for teachers to deal with students with corporal punishment gone and nothing put in to replace it in terms of discipline, but that is no excuse for it. The basketball coach should have been in prison since the suicide incident came to light and it was revealed he had physically assaulted others -- it's against the law, and he has clearly broken it a LOT.

And sorry, hitting kids with a ruler (hard enough to make it sting but not leave a bruise) is not 'punishment', it is assault, plain and simple.

The only thing clear about this survey is that if this number has admitted to doing it, there are a whole lot more who will deny it but do it or have done it all the same.

Time for a zero tolerance system -- of both teachers and students.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

bokuwamo: your educational approach sounds really scary to me. Hope you have no children responsibility.

Good manners and respect must be understood per se, they cannot be forced. In the contrary it produces people with the appearance of having good manners, but in the reality are totally perverse people. Learning social behaviors should be a natural process and not a coercive discipline.

Having said that, children deserve having parents playing their educational role. Being tough is part of it, but without any kind of violence. And maybe on this point we can agree: too many parents let their children becoming kings/queen at home. I must confess that having 3 young children, this is not always an easy task.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yubaru: I would like to share your optimism. Unfortunately it seems educational violence (either physical or psychological) is still very anchored in the Japanese society. And I see the stigmas every day I am working in a Japanese company.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The title should be, '72 Osaka teachers confess to assaulting students in questionnaire'. It does say it was done to motivate students??

Good call by the board, send out another survey...like this will achieve much. Come in Japan, get with it

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No way to deal with students without corporal punishment? Are you serious? I bet you slap your kids too! Wake up! The dark ages are over!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

and that's only the people who admitted to it. Yikes

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hmm..... You hit my kid... Naw.. that only keeps the revenge wheel turning. It is hard to believe more teachers don't get pummelled by parents. Oh, wait, it is passive-aggressive modus operandus

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Working on my grad degree right now. Just turned in a paper on student motivation last month. Just about all the research done in the last 50 years has proven that positive motivation is far more effective than negative. The old strict days of nuns and rulers has basically been scienfitfly proven to not be as effective as a kind teacher who simply cares about your well being. I can understand the need for negative motivation at certain times, but mostly only in a military training context.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Interesting, at least (some of ) the teachers were honest.

The followup survey of the students should be even more interesting...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

San_DieganFeb. 17, 2013 - 12:14AM JST Hmm..... You hit my kid... Naw.. that only keeps the revenge wheel turning. It is hard to believe more teachers don't get pummelled by parents. Oh, wait, it is passive-aggressive modus operandus

You hit my kid... I file a charge with the police. Honestly, that's the only way it'll stop. Sure the cops won't arrest the teacher, but they will pay the teacher a visit and make him/her very, very scared to raise a hand to another kid again.

Robert DykesFeb. 17, 2013 - 01:06AM JST I can understand the need for negative motivation at certain times, but mostly only in a military training context.

Just a quick correction here, the Hollywood image of a shouty abusive Drill Sergeant belongs to a bygone era. These days the military isn't conscription based, it is voluntary. If someone doesn't want to be there then they can quit with nothing more than a dishonorable discharge. Of course there are still some branches of the military that have yet to come into the 21st century, but all the research shows that troopers who are treated with respect tend to behave with more respect, and to be better able to control themselves. The model based on systematic physical and psychological abuse that "tears down" new cadets before "building them up" into soldiers creates dangerous instabilities in the psyche and leaves soldiers less able to cope with battle stress, less able to take independent action, and more willing to obey bad orders.

It is a bad idea everywhere. If people don't want to work in the military and don't want to accept the military's rules then they should quit. If they do want to be there then shouting at them really doesn't help anything since they'll do as they're told without the shouting.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ever noticed how Japan has a military style society? whether it be the work place, sports clubs and so on. Hitting subordinates is consistent in that context right?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Big deal, as long as no blood or bruises all is fine. Most of our grandparents went through that kind of schooling and they did not complain, my mother had that kind of schooling in Germany and she is fine. There is a line and a fine balancing act, which is hard. If my kid acts up in school and acts like a snot, more power to the teacher for setting them straight.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This is speculation, but here it goes. There are probably more than 72 teachers in Osaka who committed acts of violence against students. That these 72 scumbags "confessed" anything shows that they are protected by the system and not that they are contrite.

Taibatsu is illegal. That's what the Law of Education says (Article 11). Teachers who hit students are criminals. There should be zero tolerance for any sort of violence at school. Fire violent teachers. Prosecute them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Its a catch 22. That there are some teachers who will go overboard with some powers given them, there is no doubt. But its a pie in the sky dream that no students exist who actually need physical punishment to stay in line.

But if you ask me, those kids who need the physical punishment should not be in the classroom. But the teacher has no power to remove them.

The people of the government, MOE and BOEs have a knack for putting teachers between a rock and a hard place. They like to remove tools from the teacher's tool kit. But they are horrible at giving teachers the tools they need to replace what was removed.

When they took the bamboo swords out of the classrooms, did they give the teachers courses on how to hit with the hand? No. When they made hitting with the hand against the rules, did the give the teachers courses on how to verbally or otherwise punish students for bad behavior? No. Did they give teachers the power to remove students who disrupt class? No. Did they ever offer courses on how to use humor and trickery to keep students busy, interested and motivated? No. Do Japanese teachers ever smile in class? Do they do more than just lecture and hand out busy work? Have not seen too many.

Its really easy to blame the teachers; those overworked lumps of frustration and boredom. But their higher ups are not doing anything to help them and just saying don't do that and don't do this. And everything they say they should do is superflous and just makes them too busy to anything really valuable.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I should also point out that the teachers are products of their culture, and I find Japanese culture to be kind of thin when it comes to keeping students interested and motivated. For example, do Japanese teachers have any idea how to get students to raise their hands and answer questions? Is that part of the culture of the students? Don't you find that basic to keeping a class going if you can't so much as touch a student or boot them from the class?

Hitting should always be the last resort of last resorts and it should never be brutal, on the head or face or any part of the body where it could cause damage, and it should never be a means to just relieve the teacher of pent up emotion. That some teachers will fail in those is a given, but, if you want to remove corporal punishment from classrooms and still have a functional class, teachers have to be trained and made aware of other options as well as given the authority to exercise other options. What I see is that the teachers are given nothing, absolutely nothing, but they are still expected to be able to deal with the worst of the worst and keep bullying down as well.

Ask for the impossible and you just won't get it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What I know very well is that every thing in Japan use to be so different .If a teacher beat a student,it's very bad but if the teacher dosn't beat the student,I think it's the worst.The issue of beating in Japan is going on one side in the sense that the government is accusing only the teachers with out verifying very well the root of the beating.Giving every right to student may make teaching very difficult and students may not learn much because they will be enjoying the powers arrogated to them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

NEVER hit kids for any reason! It solves nothing and only shows you are a small minded bully. Children respond much better to punishment by deprivation. No TV, five minutes in the bedroom, no ice cream, no trip to Disneyland. These are much more effective means of discipline and actually teach kids there are consequences. What are you teaching a kid if the consequence is a good old fashioned belting? I cannot come up with a positive answer to this question.

This is the problem with discipline in Japanese schools. The teachers are not allowed to remove students from classrooms nor are they allowed to stop them from participating in sports or club activities. It is only extreme circumstances that allow teachers to action in these areas and the kids know this, so they do what they like cos they know there are no consequences.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Working on my grad degree right now. Just turned in a paper on student motivation last month. Just about all the research done in the last 50 years has proven that positive motivation is far more effective than negative. The old strict days of nuns and rulers has basically been scienfitfly proven to not be as effective as a kind teacher who simply cares about your well being. I can understand the need for negative motivation at certain times, but mostly only in a military training context.

Did you happen to do any of your research here in Japan?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Confusing abuse with parental privilege is something that comes up a lot with the topic of disciplining children. When I see comments like belting, bashing, punching I have to think the comments come from people who have personally experience this type of physical discipline. Gently spanking a child's butt or a slap on the hands or grabbing an ear is not child abuse. It should not be the first choice to correct behavior. Being a parent and teaching a child is being a parent. There are too many parents who think somehow the child will learn somewhere, what should be taught in the home. Reenforcing good behavior or correcting bad behavior. When a child is having an episode in public and will not stop behaving badly, picking the child up and taking it outside or a child too big to carry and grabbing a arm or ear to take outside is not child abuse, when all prior efforts have failed to correct the problem. Keep this in mind, all prior efforts have failed. How many times I have seen parents simply pretend they don't see or hear bad behavior or speak softly saying, don't do that as they continue with what they were doing and not a thing changed in the childs behavior. It should remain a parents right to decide wheather or not to use physical discipline. When I see bad behavior in adults in public I often think, what did the parents do? Seeing adults opening sealed packages in a store, dropping things on the floor and leaving, bumping pushing into people without regard, making rude remarks publicly to others, using profanity loudly, speaking to people as servants of some kind, not acknowledging courtesies given to them. Seeing these same people when confronted with their bad behavior try to change the confrontation into something the other person is doing to offend them by bringing it to their attention. When a child is sent to school the child should already know how to behave, by the parents teaching them. The teachers are not there to teach children how to behave, but when confronted with bad behavior by a child. The teachers should have the right to grab an arm or an ear and take the child away from the learning environment they are trying to create.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Just about all the research done in the last 50 years has proven that positive motivation is far more effective than negative. The old strict days of nuns and rulers has basically been scienfitfly proven to not be as effective as a kind teacher who simply cares about your well being. I can understand the need for negative motivation at certain times, but mostly only in a military training context.>

Hey Robert! I can definitely relate to nuns' use of rulers for corporal punishment. My formative years were spent in parochial schools, most of which were taught by nuns. Unfortunately, I've seen it happen too often when I was taught by nuns in elementary school. I was not hit by them, but I've seen it happen to others. To this day, it still leaves a stigma. At that time, I was afraid to tell my parents for fear that they might say, "It's your word against theirs." When I later told this to my parents, they told me that they were sorry if I thought they felt that way. Maybe students here feel the same way. I don't know. As a teacher now, I try to see the individual gifts and talents in my students. It's not always easy to do this, but better than hitting them. This kind of punishment will stay with the students to their adult years. Like you, I'm also doing a Masters. Good luck to you, Robert! I just have my final project. My journey was a busy one, but well worth it. All the best!

My apologies if I might have come across as a little wacked in my previous post. But, stories like this really get me upset. If they don't want to be there, send them out. Otherwise, when students come into a classroom, there are manners and rules to be obeyed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Adults who want to resort to a childhood experience as being a stigma, a thing that long into their adulthood can be remembered, well that was the intend. Part of the maturing process should include realizing the lessons taught by parents were to have their children mature into responsible adults with values and morals making them good citizens. Having REAL traumatic events happened in childhood is serious. Being discipline and taught by your parents to behavior is not a traumatic event and any memories should be there to remind you of what you parents were trying to teach you to remember, the process being called maturing past the, my parents don't understand me and treated me badly. To understanding what your parents were doing was their job as parents. If a person is going through adulthood using non-traumatic experiences as crutches to support their inadequacies in life. I think you've got more maturing to do. Unfortunately there are many immature people who become parents, not having completed the process themselves.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maybe if the vice-principals took a more active role in disciplining misbehavior and the parents were called immediately to come to school to discuss the problem or take the student home, the behavior would change. Teachers are supposed to teach. V.Ps. are supposed to support the teachers. The new internet services allow the students who are sent home to be assigned the same work as the students in class.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The new internet services allow the students who are sent home to be assigned the same work as the students in class.

Not all schools have access to this service, and not all schools are using the same texts and materials either. Be nice if they were but sadly not.

Teachers are supposed to teach. V.Ps. are supposed to support the teachers.

In a utopian Japanese classroom this may be the goal but sadly the reality is too many times not the case. Many teachers actually spend more time doing other activities than teaching, and disciplining students takes up much of their time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maybe if the vice-principals took a more active role in disciplining misbehavior and the parents were called immediately to come to school to discuss the problem or take the student home, the behavior would change.

This view is also held by many Americans, sadly. It should be, Maybe if the parents took a more active role with their children and ensuring the children knew how to behave BEFORE going to school. The teachers require the support of the parents, to help keep classrooms a place of learning the curriculum and not a classroom for teaching good behavior.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maybe if we went back to the old draconian ways where teachers dished out corporal punishment, parents disciplined their children and policemen could give you a slap around the back of the head we would have generations that believed that they had to work and earn their worth, not just given everything for free.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites