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Boy jumps to death after telling teacher, police he was bullied

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A 13-year-old boy died after apparently jumping from the roof of an apartment block in Sapporo on Tuesday morning. Police said Thursday it appeared that the boy had been regularly bullied at school and that he had told his teacher about it in July.

According to an NTV report, the boy went missing on Monday and was found by police, at which point he told them that he wanted to die because of the bullying. Police returned the boy to his family. On Tuesday morning, he left his home in Teine Ward but didn't show up at school. His mother and a teacher searched for him and found him on the roof of a nearby 9-story building at 9 a.m. The boy jumped despite their efforts to talk him out of it, NTV reported.

The school principal confirmed Wednesday that the boy had told his homeroom teacher that he was the victim of bullying and malicious gossip. After meeting with the Board of Education, the principal released a statement saying, "This is a truly tragic event. We are planning to carry out an investigation into the possibility that this incident was brought about by bullying."

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“We are planning to carry out an investigation into the possibility that this incident was brought about by bullying."

It's asinine thinking like this that helps perpetuate ijime. It exists and was the cause of this tragedy. That idiotic principal makes me feel profoundly sorry for the (non-bully) kids at that school.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

RIP dude. Wish you didn't have to go so young.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Again,.... this is truly tragic.....and the BOE is planning to have an investigation into " the possibility" this happened because of bullying?...The poor boy TOLD them he wanted to die because of bullying....crap...RIP little dude..

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This is sad for so many reasons...

That a young boy resorts to suicide That he was not taught how to deal with the bullying by parents nor teachers That the teacher nor school did nothing about the bullying for months That the police simply sent the boy home and ignored his plea for help That the investigation into bullying is happening AFTER this boys death.

I think there is so much that could have been done to prevent this tragedy...

11 ( +12 / -1 )

His mother was there trying to talk him down and he STILL jumped?! Poor little lad, he was so badly let down by everyone around him, despite being brave enough to try and get help. He was failed every step of the way, by the sounds of it. Why cant people think out of the box? Offer to homeschool, or find other options. Instead its a blind 'ganbatte' and lets pretend nothing is wrong.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

namabiru, I agree with you. At least the boy opened up to a handful of people pleadinf for help and was basically shut down. A FAIL on the school, the parents, and the Jcops.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The saddest thing for me is that even his mother couldn't talk him out of it. But we don't know what their relationship was like. Maybe he had been trying to tell her about his bullying problem for months and felt she wasn't listening or didn't care.

I can understand why the board would launch an investigation. Who knows what the "bullying" and "malicious gossip" consisted of? I doubt if any f the kids doing the bullying will admit to anything.

Kids can be so cruel at that age.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

these events always remind me of having to look at the dead face of a 14 year old girl I taught who took a quick flight from the 7th floor.In that case it was reportedly more of a pact that a group of kids would do it on valentine's day..a pact that only she fulfilled.Very awful.Very very awful.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Bullying is never okay. And the fact that everyone involved that the boy asked for help, failed to help him, should be under investigation, not the ''possibility" that bullying led to his suicide. But then, what can you expect in a nation full of shirkers.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

“This is a truly tragic event. We are planning to carry out an investigation into the possibility that this incident was brought about by bullying.”

What's tragic is that despite this happening ALL THE TIME the teachers and school admin still ignore it until someone dies, then they deny it until it's proven they were told, then simply apologize and instead of saying, "We should have acted sooner," or, "We were wrong not to take it more seriously", they merely say, "This is a tragedy which we will look into". What's there to look into???

The teacher should be fired and sued, and the school should be sued as well. But all that will happen is a deep bow and a moushiwake arimasen, the kids who bullied him will get a "Please don't do this again, okay?", and the Principal will 'retire' to a cushy job in the City Office.

RIP young man.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

learning the way of japanese society, it seems that what parents must do here is to prioritize teaching their kids how to deal with bullies. i'd prefer that the kid learn to fight off bullies, but if it's not in her/his nature, then it is better to simply accuse the bullies and change school. better a whistle-blower live kid than one that can't bear the bullying anymore and jumps off a roof. poor kid, poor family!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Takahiro: "it seems that what parents must do here is to prioritize teaching their kids how to deal with bullies."

One of the saddest things I saw here in my time in Japan was when a kid DID try and fight back in the bully, and got a broken nose. Now... that's not the saddest part. What WAS the saddest part was that the teachers forced HIM to apologize to the bully, while the bully just shrugged and walked away without apologizing back, the teachers not pursuing him, and instead saying to the shattered boy: "Don't provoke him, okay?"

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Suicides of schoolchildren at that age are a rare thing, even in Japan. Unavoidable as it might be in some cases, this case is different as the boy's calls for help were ignored. Since Japanese authorities always claim that Japan has such a high suicide rate and that they take public action against it, it is a clear case of negligence.

Maybe it is because the desire for harmony is deeply rooted in the Japanese way of thought that bullying shatters their will to live with such devastating results. It is extremely sad that a boy with the courage to speak out and seek help was still failed by society. But without real consequences for the perpetrators, for the teachers, for the police, they fail him again after his death. An avoidable death of a child is a tragedy that no family can ever overcome. So sad...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Takahiro: Sorry, my point was that it won't make much of a difference -- the kid who fights back will be punished, while the punishment the bullies receive will be nothing; they don't listen to the teachers/staff anyway, and there's no system in place for dealing with that fact. True, teach the kid some self-defense techniques, including how to fight back, but what REALLY needs to be done is putting a system in place whereby the teachers/admin can deal with the bullies in an effective manner. A no-tolerance system needs to be adopted, wherein those who bully others are suspended for a week or so, and repeat offenders expelled. Any teacher known to have had bullying reported (or admin) but did nothing to prevent it from occurring further should be fired and stripped of their license. If it results in death, as is the case here, not only that but they should be held liable for the death as well, and at the very least sued.

Those kind of measures might actually get people to do something aside from ignoring what's being done to these poor kids. I'm sick of hearing about how it was reported some time ago and nothing was done, with the kids feeling the only way out was death. Where else does this happen in such an advanced nation?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

They always try to solve the problem after it is too late. RIP young lad.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

smithinjapan: too true what you say about the horror story where the poor bullied kid gets bullied even by the teacher, and the bully gets away free. don't think either of us have the best solution, but hope our concerns and proposals would be taken seriously. might save some innocent lives, and we'd not have to hear about this happening over and over again.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Too little too late... RIP little guy no one can bully you anymore.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Oh, the poor, poor boy. He couldn't face going back to school for the new term, and obviously the homeroom teacher had done nothing to reassure him. It's easy enough for adults to tell children what to do, how to behave in times of trouble (ignore it; stand up for yourself; laugh it off; try to make friends with them, etc.) but we forget how fragile teenagers are, how fragile we used to be... Too late for an investigation, Principal. what you going to do, give a few lectures at assembly, maybe detention? Useless.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Poor boy was probably told to "ganbatte!" and teacher went back to "ganbaru" on their own problems.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Poor boy. Kids these days should learn about revenge. It worked for me when I was younger. I hope the bullies get a good talking to.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Police, teachers, principal & PARENTS all failed this boy, what a sick bunch

We can talk about prevention, taking action etc all we want, but the problem is bullying is an integral part of being Japanese, being the ""right kind"" of Japanese. Its ingrained in society, bullying is pervasive in varying levels through out ALL OF J-SOCIETY!

Bullying is used to weed people out, push them aside if they cant take it. Its a really sick sick underbellyt of this country, but make no mistake it is there & its molds people, I find it scary honestly.

But like many other ills unless Japanese think its a problem & clearly MOST DONT, we keep reading about this, do the math about 70-90people kill themselves EVERY DAY here, but while the dead are mourned some, really the majority dont really give a damn, Japan is a cold place!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Takahiro: "don't think either of us have the best solution, but hope our concerns and proposals would be taken seriously. might save some innocent lives, and we'd not have to hear about this happening over and over again."

Hear hear! Sadly, I don't think this problem will ever change, or at least not in the near future. The closest it came to getting the attention it deserved was when little Aiko of the Imperial Family was being bullied. But instead of the issue being properly addressed they kept her at home instead. It's going to take the child or children of some very powerful people to commit this sort of act based on bullying before anything is done, and until then, I fear, we will hear about a few more similar suicides before the year is through.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have waited for years and years to see a certain type of campaign take place in Japan. I think many of the readers here can imagine the sort of which I'm thinking: A young child is kidnapped, or an elderly person is left to die in the cold, or a young gay man is brutally murdered, and this horrific event galvanizes some people into action. And in the wake of such a tragedy, that single, pitiable victim becomes the face of a campaign -- one where the public at large is disgusted with inaction and swears, "NEVER AGAIN!"

Why doesn't that happen here? Why hasn't one young bullying victim become the poster child for ALL bullying victims, thus bringing attention to this tragedy? Why cannot people in Japan make a connection between one victim and all of us? Japanese people are particularly good at memorializing victims of large-scale disasters (Hiroshima and Nagasaki, for example, or JAL Flight 123.) Yet the concept that a universal truth may be found in the suffering of one, and that it is up to all of us to ensure that the suffering of that one is never repeated for the rest of us, glides right on by without people seizing upon the opportunity to shout from the rooftops, "NEVER AGAIN!"

3 ( +3 / -0 )

How can anyone expect these adult to help these kids when they bully themselves? Kohai/sempai is nothing more than institutional bullying. Watching "adults" here behave at work and bully each other is probably the most shocking thing I have seen in this country. Do as I say, not as I do. Until they get rid of this system and the system of just respecting your elders and being pushed around by them without questioned asked, this will always be a huge issue here.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Bullying is everywhere, at some point you just have to stand up to your attacker, even if you get beat up physically, mentally or emotionally, ay least you go out fighting; this goes for all ages. Sad this young man had to pay the ultimate price, another restless soul :(

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Rest in peace young blood,

It's truly a shame what happens manytimes due to the nature of Japanese society and its school system.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

First; Another needless death, one out of many, probably totally preventable, and that's what makes it so much more sad. I pray for the remainder of the people related to him and my heart goes out to his mother who had to see her child die in such a terrible manner.

Now then, food for thought here, everyone is making assumptions in their own minds about the degree of bullying and making guesses that maybe his Mom was a part of the problem. Consider this, just about everyone at one point or another in their lives is subject to or experiences some form or another of bullying. Whether it's a friend, classmate, co-worker, boss, whomever, we can not sit here and assume that everyone failed this boy. The boy may have had other issues as well that were not reported here. For what ever the reason, he felt the only way out was to die, no matter what even his mother said to him.

Children at that age are very vulnerable to what people around them say or do. Real or imagined.

We have no idea what the teacher and boy talked about, also keep in mind that he told the teacher in July, which is before or maybe during summer vacation. We have no knowledge of what actions the teacher may have (or not) taken.

I am not attempting to defend anyone involved in this, it is a sad event. We can not crucify anyone without more information. Some people here are ready to lynch folks involved in this based upon only a small portion of the total picture. And to those people I pray that you are never faced with a similar situation.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

This is heartbreaking to read.Poor little guy.When your kids go into the school gate,they are in a safe place,the school has a duty of care as well as education.This system has failed,and it fails not just on Japan but all over.I know it's a complex issue,but when will Schools and other authorities get the decency and courage to stand up and address this.

We don't know the facts here,but no Mother should have to experience this,this for me just deepens the tragedy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wow, this is soo sad. I work with lads his age at Junior High, and best believe the best we can do is interveneon our own. I take upon myself, the "gaijin cloak" of I don't care about tradition, ima gaijin, and do so. Coz to be honest, some teachers openly just don't give a damn about these consistent issues. Btw, girls bullying is really an issue too, no kidding!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This young vulnerable boy is not the first to feel that his life is no longer worth living and sadly he will not be the last unless action is taken to prevent such tragedies in the future. What can be done? 1 Immediate action to any report of bullying, an immediate investigation, time is of the essence. 2 Making it absalutely clear at the begining of each term that bullying will not be tolerated in any shape or form, be it phisical verbal or cyber. A big brother student system whereby the older students protect the younger.on a volutary basis. 3 Education by role playing,ie the victim and the perpertrator depicted by the students.4 Teachers to be aware that the child who stands alone in the schoolyard with his or her back to the wall looking totaly miserable and dejected may be the victim of bullying. My empathy now is to the boys family I dont know what to say that will help them through the ordeal they are now experiencing, other then to say, my prayers are with you.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There needs to be more done about bullies, in all schools. Setup a stricter set of rules for bullies, counseling for victims, etc. I wish I had the money to start an organization for bully awareness.

R.I.P. to this young man. He was failed by his surroundings.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That's really heartbreaking. Another loss of a young life. I used to be targeted by mischievous young students in the past, and was sort of "bullied" too. RIP little dude, now you're up there with angels and they will treat you good.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The school principal confirmed Wednesday that the boy had told his homeroom teacher that he was the victim of bullying and malicious gossip. After meeting with the Board of Education, the principal released a statement saying, “This is a truly tragic event. We are planning to carry out an investigation into the possibility that this incident was brought about by bullying.”

Disgusting. Absolutley disgusting. NAME AND SHAME this principal and homeroom teacher. They have blood on their hands. Too little, too late. I am shaking with anger right now. This was such a needless death. 13 years old, and they did NOTHING!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

How truly sad. I can't begin to imagine how helpless he felt. Teachers who knowingly ignore bullying and depressed victims of bullying need to be held responsible, but I guess it's too difficult to prove?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My daughters school has a buddy system where the older years take responsibility for one or two people in the lower years. they almost "adopt" them! She is always getting letters and cute pictures from the older girls! She told me that within her class when there is a problem, the whole class get together and discuss the problem with the teacher and find a resolution. There are one or two would-be bullies in the class but from what she tells me they seem to be kept in check by the rest of the class not tolerating bullying behaviour.

There is a hokken shitsu staffed by 3 people, where a child can go at any time to talk or just be safe. They send out a newsletter once a month (which I try desperately to read!) updating people on sickness, bullying issues, anything health and lifestyle-related.

I am not saying that bullying doesnt go on at the school but it seems to be kept in check and the school has a reputation for being bully-free. As you walk around there are posters up basically depicting bullies as losers who need our sympathy. It is not "cool" to bully at her school.

My point is: why is this not the norm across Japan? Its just an ordinary public school, nothing special. But the headmaster seems to be something of a legend, and maybe thats the reason. Principals wield a lot of power - geta good one and you are fine. Get a bad or lazy one and the trouble starts.

I also think among parents there is an attitude of "well I had to go through it" or "itll toughen you up" - it doesnt. I watched my brother go through hell from age 5 to 12, and he is still suffering the effects now into his thirties. I hate bullies more than anything, and I agree with tmarie - until this country`s attitude to bullying at all levels changes, nothing else will. It is pretty progressive and I am very grateful for it. The one time a boy in my daughters class called her "baka" the teacher pulled him up and said "How many languages do you speak? how many places outside Japan have you been to? So - whos the stupid one again?!" I was really rateful and impressed.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Sorry something went wrong with my post there - the SCHOOL is pretty progressive!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

After all these thoughtful posts I really have nothing to add, only that my heart aches at this news and a society that failed him. RIP young man. I hope you are now at peace.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Nicky, great post. Your daughter's school sounds like it's really on top of things. It's a very educational thing too, isn't it? The would-be bully hopefully learns there are limits and lines that shouldn't be crossed, and the rest of the class learns that problems can be solved or prevented by getting involved and taking a stand, that things seldom get solved by ignoring the problem.

My son's school is not too bad. There is generally good communication between teachers, pupils and parents. I just wish more schools would replicate what your school is doing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Myself, I am a teacher, and I tell my Japanese students in both English, since I teach them English and that is what I get paid for, then again in NIHONGO just in case some smart ass kid will try to get away with some BS that he did not understand what I said about bullying, some like, if I hear of any of you punk ass kids trying to pick on my students because you have nothing better to do, I will kick their little high school asses inside and out, and I finish this with a big nice smile and Wakatta???!!!??? So funny how punks understand when a teacher is strong and has the balls to point out who is a bully in the class and many a times I threw them out of my classes, gave them the explanation, you are loud URUSAI you do not do my homework and you want to bully my class?? Sorry, this little Mexican will never take any of this crap that other Japanese teachers are so afraid of, try teaching in East LA etc..where any kid can not only pull out a knife on you, but a gun etc..or their bigger gang banging brothers, parents etc..can also come after you, so this makes my teaching here in Japan just a piece of cake. But I do feel so sorry for these kids who must learn to fight for their own rights and to fight back. One good kick in the balls! Earn your respect and see how much ijime will continue. But this horrible incident up in Hokkaido is only the tip of the proverbial ICEBERG, too many Japanese lack the courage to face this problem and they, Japanese teachers, adults should be ashamed that they do not stand up to do more for these poor kids!!! RIP little guy up in Sapporo

7 ( +8 / -1 )

very sad i read about it alot. its in J-Dramas because its Real & Happens. YES they should do something, i don't believe in suicide But he was 13 & wasn't encouraged enough. you can't blame society or police. the police thinks its a small matter & the schools should be dealing with it. the Teachers & school system Should be aware & Doing something about this isssue. other kids too who actualy see it & Do Nothing. its Really SAD & bad it happens Everywhere in the world.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“This is a truly tragic event. We are planning to carry out an investigation into the possibility that this incident was brought about by bullying.”

IMO this quote just about perfectly summarizes 21st century Japan -- the country "investigates" after a tragedy has already occurred. A tragedy that they were forewarned about. Just another human tragedy brought on by a deep structural absence of initiative, people unwilling to take personal responsibility for anything, and a lack of true value for human life. RIP young man. And RIP Japan. The continued decline into near-total irrelevancy is inevitable. And no one to blame but themselves.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

smithinjapan, I think something needs to be done, but what you propose is too nanny state.

Japan does have a problem with bullying, but to be honest we view it as a trade off. There has to be some mechanism to ensure that people stay in line, that they do not go to far in individuality. This is to keep the harmony of Japan. So while this may be an unpleasant side effect, it does have a benefit to our society.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

wow.. I can't wait to not send my kids to Japanese schools

0 ( +1 / -1 )

..and I hope j4p4nFTW's post is a joke. Does this society really pride itself on crushing the individuality of the human spirit??

How is this harmony when young kids are jumping off of buildings because there is no support for them to deal with this????

1 ( +1 / -0 )

RIP young fella. Down with the bullies! Have them expelled immediately...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

These kids need to toughen up. Bullying is just a normal part of teenage development. Like crying sportsmen, these weak kids need to take a deep look at their lives and deal with it instead of taking the easy way out or seeking attention. Parents can help, get them to do karate lessons of whatever. Like the Mexican guys says about LA, kids here have it so easy...

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

@Asagao, that may be true, but let's face it, there are some kids who are and will never be tough to face up to bullies. What do you want them to do? Toughen up and fight these bullies? I say rather than have a dead kid, you may have to pull that kid out of the school and move him to another school or do whatever it takes to have that kid remain alive. Of course, I wouldn't have the kid keep running away, but if i pull him out and move him to another school, he would need to learn from this experience and improve himself.

I like what Elbuda Mexicano said above. If no one will protect these kids being bullied, I will go up and drop kick these bullies, no matter that I'm much bigger and older than them. I have no problem beating up bullies even if they are kids and smack them down.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Asagao, that may be true, but let's face it, there are some kids who are and will never be tough to face up to bullies.

sorry to butt into this private reply, but bullied kids in Japan face groups armed with bamboo sticks and metal baseball bats. You can keep telling your kids to not runaway until the day they end up on a wheelchair.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But there's a solution to bullying, it's called PRIVATE SCHOOLS some of you high rollers may have heard of them.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Is this only happening in schools? Nah, it is happening at every level of Japanese society.

A golden rule; "you treat others as you would like to be treated" has to be taught and learned.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

you should never have been allowed to suffer like this. Thats why we have adult teachers and homeroom teachers. I can't believe the teachers didn't spot this type of behavior before this. I am so sorry you felt alone and without hope.

rest in peace my friend.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My 7 year old son was getting bullied being the white boy in a Japanese school. He came home with bruises on his back where he had been repeatedly attacked. When we asked him to tell us what happen he started tell us then stopped as I think the expressions on my face [Probably the look I get in my eyes when I want to kill someone and not necessary the bullies but the teacher at the school whose letting it happen] He was horrified that we would talk to the school. We took some photos of the bruises while he was sleeping to show the teacher. They ask him about it. He told him who it was. When those boys were questioned their response was we are only playing. Bruises on the back is not play usually it means he was attacked from behind. They the teachers call my son a liar. trouble maker. Who in the school can he talk to now? That how they do things in Japan. So we got photos, dates, teachers names, we let them know everything in writing, and we figure out the school is completely useless. We asked the parents of the boys around for dinner. and of course the came. We told them about about our son getting bullied by some boys. we didn't mention it was their boys doing the bulling. Then we ask as there boys were so popular could the possibly look out for my son.' Of course' they said 'we hate bullies'. 'its a big problem'. So I guess they went home and ask their children who was doing the bulling. Guess what the bullies stop. Who knows for how long?? I don't think Japan works on Threats. But when the teachers see me coming now they scatter.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@ElBudaMexicano Hermano, are you from Eastlos? I am from NoHo, you are right, the kids in LA are no joke, we need more teachers from South Central in Japan or maybe not, lol!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Nicky Washida "The one time a boy in my daughters class called her "baka" the teacher pulled him up and said "How many languages do you speak? how many places outside Japan have you been to? So - whos the stupid one again?!"

@Elbuda Mexicano "if I hear of any of you punk ass kids trying to pick on my students because you have nothing better to do, I will kick their little high school asses inside and out,...One good kick in the balls! Earn your respect and see how much ijime will continue."

Are these really the best ways for adults to respond to bullying? I understand the intention, but both seem very immature and counterproductive. The bullies are children, too. Both examples just show adults doing the bullying instead of the kids. What does that teach? There has to be a better way.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

One problem is that kids do not play at schools except in the classroom. This encourages the alpha male syndrome mentality with no escape for others. if kids were given the space and time to play in the school grounds a lot less bullying would occur. If kids could escape at lunch time and get into their peer groups a lot of social skills would be learned. Obviously this would be at least one more choice a kid feeling pressured would have.

Schools are too concerned with appearing to be disciplined by enforcing and controlling the movements of individuals but this is a repressive system.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Asago,Perhaps I may teach you to understand a little more on the subject of bullying. It is a system of terrorism although the younger perportrators may not recognise it as such. There is usualy more then one person involved as a rule. The victim is singled out, usualy the quiter more sensetave child in his or her class. It begins with name calling, some may call it teasing. The victim becomes isolated as other children are afraid of being dealt the same medicine. The treatment if left unchecked, escalates, property is damaged and the taunting gets increasingly worse. It may be followed by phisical violence, rarely one onto one. The victim becomes withdran and reluctant to face the tormentors, the chil d will probabley complain to parents that they are feeling . ill in order to stay home Truancy may follow with all the dangers that this entails. The victims character is not enhanced quite the opposite.There is a saying, sticks and stones may break my bones, but calling me names wont hurt me.... On the contrary, bullying may ruin the chids accademic future, leaving the child traumatised by what should have been the happiest days of their life

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

YardleySep. 02, 2011 - 03:55AM JST. Are these really the best ways for adults to respond to bullying?

Adults and parents need to take time, listen to the kids and take it seriously. Be supportive of what they do. Majority of kids accused of bullying have been bullied themselves. In Japan, the bullying is product of the conforming pressure of Japanese society. Children are bullied for being too smart, too dumb, too ugly or simply being different. There is also a pressure to do well in school. One of the most distressing thing about the bullying incidents is that few of the victims felt they could turn to their parents or teachers for help. Children who were bullied felt they had poor communication with their parents and suffered from parental violence. In Japan, bullying tends to happen between very close friends, and the situation often worsened because bystanders do not try to intervene. If students' frustration with school rises, it's more likely that certain students will become punching bags for others to vent their frustration.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

But there's a solution to bullying, it's called PRIVATE SCHOOLS some of you high rollers may have heard of them.

Do you think bullying doesnt happen in private schools???!

YardleySep. 02, 2011 - 03:55AM JST. Are these really the best ways for adults to respond to bullying?

I cant speak for the other example you brought up but in my case yes, I thought it was an excellent and intelligent response by the teacher. She didnt threaten him in any way, but she did point out the ridiculousness of his claim that my daughter was a "baka gaijin". It worked. No-one has said a word on that subject ever since, and now they are starting English this year she is Little Miss Popular now - everyone wants to sit next to her!

Sending bullied kids in to do karate is ridiculous. I did karate for 5 years and we often had bullied teenagers coming into the club. First, it would take 20 years to learn the skills you need to win a fight against a bigger opponent, but also a lot of these kids were just not able to do it, physically or mentally.

In my brothers case he changed schools - in his new school no-one knew him and he had no "reputation" so he was able to start again. But aftr 7 years the psychological damage was already done. Japanese are not receptive to homeschooling in general so this is not usually seen as an option for them. I have heard there are some very good forms of martial art that teach prevention and defence (eg holds and things) rather than attacks. If my child gets bullied I would pull them out straight away. I dont see it as running away or not teaching them to face up to their problems. They can learn to do that as they get older but a 7, 10, 13 year old getting picked on by a unch of older/bigger kids with no adult support whatsoever - that is no way a reasonable way to expect a child to live.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ms Washida; 20 years to win against bigger opponent? Nah, not if the teacher gives you confidnece and i mena a good teacher not in it for the dosh. I were bullied all the time when young, until 13 was the smallest in the class. Went to karate at council centre and boxing club, built meself up properly. within two years never got bullied again. I did spurt up in height, but far from tall.

Of course not veryone can hack it and the emotional scars and lack of self belief can hold those bullies back even when adults. Best thing is to teach kids from a very young age that violence is not acceptable and should be punished but worse is bullying of any sort. I am ashamed of violence i used when younger when i look back, but then i thought it was great and the solution to many problems.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@ Yardley: Negotiations are most successful when you speak the language your opposite number can understand best.

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I am ashamed of violence i used when younger when i look back, but then i thought it was great and the solution to many problems. Yet you would resort to violence or bullying to control your women? Interesting huh?

In this case there is a huge gap in the information everyone needs to have before any finger pointing can be done accurately.

Some kids now a days are overly sensitive to every little slight and claim to be victims of being bullied when they are the problem. It makes it harder for teachers and schools to investigate. Teachers as well, from experience here, are not trained well enough to recognize problems within their own classes. Having different teachers for all the subjects makes it even harder to recognize.

There needs to be more education all across the board, including parents as well, to identify children that are being bullied.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I really ache for the boy, and his parents. What a terrible, terrible ordeal. It is truly sickening. This problem is a hydra, and seemingly will never be solved. But we should try as hard as we can without ceasing.

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I suspect that the boy regretted it as soon as he made the leap--but there was nothing he could do. It's sometimes easy to make rash decisions like this. Had he lived, I'm sure there would have been countless times that he would have said to himself, "I'm glad I didn't kill myself on that day."

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I read not all but many comments here, but I didn't find any mention of parents of the bullies. I recall when I was bullied in Jr High (3 years after moving from Jp to US). My mom instructed me to point the bully out when she came to pick me up at school. She said calmly to the boy that she needed his home phone number so she could speak to his parents. He inquired why and she explained. He begged her not to call and promised never to bother me with tears in his eyes. It was clear that he knew his parents would severely punish him. I think both Japan and other countries depend too much on school and teachers to handle behavioral problems. Primary responsibility of raising a child to be a decent human being rests with the parents.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Mimi.

Exactly, that works the best in my experience too.

And, yes, bad parenting usually is the cause of bullies.

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MImi; Sounds like you ahd a great mum who knew how to get to the bully. Sdaly many parents like mine when little thought the only answer was for me to toughen up myself.

Another sad thing about these days is possibly the bullies mum or dad would have threatened you mum as many parenst seem to belive their kids are angels who do no wrong.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I agree. Bullying is not always a black and white issue. Bullying is not always one kid beating up on another. Sometimes is it more subtle teasing which makes it difficult for the teacher to judge what is really going on. And the bully is often a victim of abuse or harsh punishment at home so that needs to be addressed, too.

Number one is that parents and teachers need to be educated. They need to know what bullying is and isn't. How to prevent bullying and how to handle bullying. And policies and procedures need to be in place at schools so the teacher knows exactly what to do should he/she suspect that bullying is going on. Number two is that teachers and parents need to teach kids how to treat each other with respect and kindness so bullying doesn't happen in the first place.

I also agree that more people need to speak up and say, NO MORE BULLYING!

RIP to this poor boy and condolences to his family and friends.

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Steve you may be right - our club tended to focus more on the aesthetics of karate - lots of kata and technique drilling rather than actual fighting. But I have also heard it said many times that there are "faster" martial arts when it comes to defending yourself, but everyone first thinks of karate because of the movie! You are also right about the teacher sadly - mine preached a good Japanese art, but had never actually been to Japan and was basically in it for the money AND the women.

You should never feel ashamed of the violence you had to use in your youth. It is so easy with adult hindsight to rationalise anything but you did what you had to do to at the time as a 13 year old boy with a 13 year old boys life experience. I know there are some things I am ashamed of and I dont think there is a single adult on the planet with no regrets.

I think Mimi Kelchen is right - there is a culture here, rightly or wrongly, to put a LOT of onus on the school to raise the children. Another aspect is ignoring problems, sweeping them under the rug or "ganbarre"ing when things go wrong. I was surprised that, when there is a problem with a child in the neighbourhood, often the school will get a call, not the parents! The buck for this kids death I think ultimately starts and stops with the parents. They should be talking to their child every day, finding out what is happening, how things are going, and know their child well enough to know any danger signs that crop up. Its basic parenting. I understand she could have been a single Mum, maybe she had to work long hours, mayb she couldnt be there for him all the time but something could have been figured out. I cant believe the Mother was actually THERE when the child jumped! That must have been absolutely horrendous for her to see.

If (God forbid) any of my children ever end up like this, I would absolutely feel like I had failed as a parent.

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Ms Washida; It is true sadly that many men who ahve an interest in Japan whether in martial arts, anime or food seem to have an abnormal interest in women. I guess your karate though is good for keeping in shape especilly the exercises. I think the boxing club was where i learned to fight properly it was a differnet type of atmosphere and you had to show you could give and take a punch.

I really hate bullying. A lovely young girl moved from Osaka to live opposite us recently. Due to bullying she refused to go to school. She is a really nice girl and friends with all our family. She is very childish for her age and i can see why she could be picked on. It was only recently that her grandad told me she used to be awake all night screaming trhat she wanted to die, that i realsied how much she suffered. Some people bear these scars for life and their potential is never reached through emotional pain and feelings of low self esteem. This should never happen to any child and we must do everything we can to stop it. Whether the bullying is from parents, family members or school mates it is wrong and should be a criminal offence.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I absolutely agree that bullying starts with bad parenting. I have seen so many examples of it. There is a girl at the moment causing my daughter some occasional problems. It is very light and I wouldnt describe it as bullying as such - more just being basically "mean". But I know the family (they live in our building) and the father is often absent and the Mother seems uninterested and unable to cope. Both her and her younger brother seem to run wild.

Another kid in our building - only about 6 or 7 (1st grader) - tried to bully me! Sitting in the park with my kids and their pet rabbit on a lead, he marched in and started belching out how he "hated rabbits and foreigners" and using very guttural kansai-street language ("ore" and "omae" - that kind of thing) and being physically threatening to the other kids including my little 5 year old who he tried to shake off a ride-on springy toy. It was patently obvious where it was coming from (the father). It was also patently obvious the kid had a bit of a weight problem and crushing low self-esteem. One must also ask what a 6 year old was doing alone in the park at 6.30pm. I felt sorry for him but I also had to step in to stop him hurting someone.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nicky.

Honestly, sorry, about your bad experiences in karate, etc. I myself do take students at times, licensed to teach a few styles.

As for Bullies, they tried it on my son. Worked initially till I caught one 6th grader while son was in 2nd grade. Bully said it was ok as they are all doing it.

Didn't work with me, I spoke to his parents the same night and teacher and principal also got informed. Said that the school was trouble. Was the time when he was living with ex-wife

At new school son is well liked(only foreigner but no-one seems to care), usually our house is filled with his friends if he is not outside playing.

But he knows if he does get bullied(unlikely now) he got me as his backup and I don't take crap neither does he.

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Ot''S ME; That is what any responsible parent must do and good on you for taking that stance.

The thing is say say that violence breeds violence and i have almost got to the point of being physical to a bullies father. It is an emotional thing and we should all be alert at all times. A couple of times i have stopped a kid getting slapped and pushed about and told the bullies to grow up. We need to look after each others kids and when we see bullying stop it. If society made a bigger effort to stamp it out we could all but do that.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Ot''S ME; That is what any responsible parent must do and good on you for taking that stance.

The thing is say say that violence breeds violence and i have almost got to the point of being physical to a bullies father. It is an emotional thing and we should all be alert at all times. A couple of times i have stopped a kid getting slapped and pushed about and told the bullies to grow up. We need to look after each others kids and when we see bullying stop it. If society made a bigger effort to stamp it out we could all but do that.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Sad story. The boy did everything he is supposed to do. He didn´t hide the bullying problem, he told the teachers, even the cops. He did not hide it, like the teenage victims usually do. He told the adults. And they let him down.

It is easy for adults to say that the kid should just deal with it, slug it out with the bullies, etc. But for a 13-year old the horizon is not that big. Adult life is far away, and the bullying situation is very large and real. I have been there (both as bully and as victim, in different schools) and I still remember it vividly.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We are planning to carry out an investigation into the possibility that...

For what, to find who's guilty and punish them?

It's truly a shame what happens many times due to the nature of Japanese society and its school system.

Not due to Japanese society and its school system. Bullies are everywhere and it happens in every country.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

To me the saddest thing is the boy desparately tried to get help. He told teachers, parents, police, and possibly friends and possibly he called the child bullying help line that schools give to students, yet in the end nothing helped and he just gave up because after all his efforts, nothing changed and nothing helped. Even authority figures couldnt stop the bullying. I hope the bullies realize what theyve done now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"I absolutely agree that bullying starts with bad parenting."

I think obviously kids from bad families are more prone to bullying, but bullying is not exclusively from bad families. I`ve heard of kids from really good homes that went through a stage where they bullied. Those from good homes I think eventually abandon this behavior and realize it was wrong or if their parents find out about the bullying that usually puts a stop to it real fast. Nevertheless, even kids from good homes can fall into the bullying trap. And there is also reverse behavior where kids from good homes bully the kids from bad homes because the kids from the bad homes may not be clean, have nice clothes, nor good manners. So the kids from the good homes start making fun of or putting down the less fortunate kids without really realizing the damage they are doing or recognizing it as bullying. They may think a bully is someone that threatens to beat up another. They may not think of pointing out a person smells and wears the same clothes everyday can be a form of bullying too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This should never happen to any child and we must do everything we can to stop it. Whether the bullying is from parents, family members or school mates it is wrong and should be a criminal offence.

Hear hear Steve!

ITS ME: thank you for your understanding on the karate thing. I am sure there are some very good instructors out there, i was just unlucky. I wasnt prepared to - shall we say "pay the fee" - to get my black belt. Sokay - I kind of see myself as one of lifes brown belts anyway!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have read that the teachers and principal are effectively powerless in the schools ...

This is sad. If they had some kind of leverage, they might be able to actually enforce some "discipline" and shit like this wouldn't have happened.

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Principals are not powerless by any means, they are the daimyo of the school and BOE's in many cases can not overturn a decision made by a principal.

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Although I would not expect the mother to have expected a suicide, I am still incredulous that after going missing, and having the police return him home, and knowing what the trouble was, she tried to sent him to school next day.

Then she fails to talk him down. I wonder what she said to him? Maybe something like "You get your butt down right now Mister and get to school!" I am betting this is one of those thick skulled "education mamas". I wonder if she feels relieved that at least she does not have to deal with a hikkikomori?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Never kill yourself, it's a bigger sin to kill yourself than to kill other people. (according to the Old Testament)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japanese are proficient at bullying, but, no doubt, bullying is a worldwide phenomenon. Humans are full of evil thoughts and actions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@j4p4nFTW

Japan does have a problem with bullying, but to be honest we view it as a trade off. There has to be some mechanism to ensure that people stay in line, that they do not go to far in individuality. This is to keep the harmony of Japan. So while this may be an unpleasant side effect, it does have a benefit to our society.

Are you kidding me? This post has nothing to do with Japan as a whole. There are plenty of japanese people that are completely AGAINST bullying. Unfortunately, they are NOT the majority, but I'm sure I am 100% against bullying. It is really shameless to openly LIE by stating that WE use bullying as a mechanism to keep people from becoming individual. How outrageous to read this post. My husband and whole family born and raised here have their own individualism and take pride of it. Many japanese I know are individual in their own way and thinking. Not everybody is the same. Still this little boy die in such way that I hope that all those useless human scumbags that didn't help him and ignore him get to dream with his suffering face for their rest of their natural lives.

Yes, Japan has a colossal problem with Bullying, but I let's not classify all people as bullies, I have never bullied a single soul in my 30 years. neither my husband or other family members.

Bullies are very little people filled with fear and insecurity. I pity them!!

Rip Young boy -_-;

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My son was actually bullied more at his international school than at his Japanese school....it is not a quick fix to send your kid to an international school

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