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Bullying blamed after two 13-yr-old girls jump to their deaths

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Two 13-year-old girls jumped to their deaths from a six-story car park in Fujieda City on Sunday afternoon, in what is believed to be a suicide brought on by bullying, school officials said on Monday.

The girls fell from the car park roof, about 16 meters high, at around 3.30 pm, with an eye-witness saying they were holding each other as they fell. They were rushed to hospital but were pronounced dead shortly after. The girls’ sports bags were found near the one-meter-high fence on the roof, and there was no evidence of any struggle, police said.

A meeting for parents was held at the girls’ junior high school on Monday night, where it was revealed that messages in one of the girl’s cell phones indicated she was being bullied, and a note found in her bedroom said that she was having a hard time. School staff said the girl was moved to a different class in April after learning some students had been saying bad things about her last year. They said the girl told her teacher in June that the new class was better for her. The other girl was absent from school for most of last term after being separated from her friend, and was also reportedly subjected to bullying last year.

The meeting lasted for about an hour and a half, covering the circumstances of the girls’ deaths as well as what counseling services were available. About 80% of parents attended but few asked questions. One mother commented briefly on the incident, expressing her shock and saying that her daughter had played with the two girls.

A ceremony which was to be held Monday to mark the beginning of the new term was canceled. Students were briefed about the incident over the PA system.

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expressing her shock and saying that her daughter had played with the two girls.

What does playing with them have anything to do with this?

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cleo - most of the posters here are pretty much of the same mind, having been socialized in the west, I suspect. We don't tolerate this stuff. I can't speak for Europe, but in the US, really awful bullies have occasionally been dragged from school in handcuffs by the police. It sends a pretty strong message. If a teacher fails to maintain order, that teacher is disciplined or replaced.

You've argued that strict action against bullies isn't warranted, and won't work.

I think we all understand that the issue here is systemic - lackluster teachers who rely on Japan's group dynamics to force conformity, lackluster school administration who are content to do the same, and finally Japanese children who do not communicate with their parents. We get that.

Do you have any solutions in mind?

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It's easy -like previously stated, one must have moral fortitude. I wonder why Japan has such a social conformity characteristic of its society.

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There must be some way to either stop this senseless bullying.

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I just also wanted to make a comment that "students were briefed about the incident over the PA system"??? Am I crazy or is that just totally impersonal? What about teachers taking the kids in groups and discussing the problem with them and asking for their opinions, and if anyone has anything they want to say about it. What about discussing feelings? What about taking the opportunity to have an open discussion about the issue?

Oh yes, as per my previous post I forgot - Head. Sand.

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This topic is of serious interest and concern to me as my daughter will be starting elementary school from April.

I am not trying to pre-empt trouble before it even starts and I really hope she settles into school with no problems - but a big concern for me is that I went to a parents meeting recently, and listened to a speech about the new school from the principal. At the end they asked if anyone had any questions. Of course, no-one moved a muscle - except me! I put my hand up and asked what their policy was on dealing with bullying and what support services are in place to deal with both victims and their tormentors.

The short answer (because I got a very long speech with very little substance in it at all) - they don`t have a bullying policy and there is not a problem with bullying at that school.

They may be right - I sincerely hope so - but what REALLY worried me most was the reaction of the other parents because I had had the nerve to even ask such a question! They stared, they whispered, they gave me a very wide berth as we left the auditorium - I seem to have been automatically marked out as "trouble" before we have even entered the school.

There seems to be a very definite culture of burying ones head in the sand and hoping anything unpleasant goes away in this country - I wonder if that`S how things have managed to get to the point that they have with this particular issue.

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guest: Are you serious? If a kid punches another kid they'll immediately be jailed? News to me.

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this is so unbelievably sad. at 13 their lives are ended without ever having experienced anything worthwhile. it's such a sad and tragic waste. i understand their desperation though- kids can be vicious.

i was bullied severely off and on during my childhood- being disabled, poor, confused, socially awkward, and chubby took its toll socially. i also had a mother who was busy working and a stepfather who enjoyed his own creative forms of bullying whenever he came home. there wasn't really anywhere for me to turn for help.

I'd like to see a teenager with enough self-confidence to be able to stand up to a bully, not with violence, but simply by ignoring them.

this is the advice i got when i was in school, and although i became an expert at ignoring things, it really didn't work. they just got more and more determined to get a reaction out of me (constantly knocking things off of my desk, etc).

i remember, though, that one particular bully tried to get me in trouble for cheating off of his test... the teacher took up both of our papers, and ended up openly mocking the bully because #1- i was much farther along in the test than he was and #2- MY answers were actually correct. ha.

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Mnemosyne23 is on the right track: Bullying is about power. Kids, however, do not seek power so much as their parents do. The bully comes from a family where bullying is taught as a way of life and as a means to cope with innate inferiority. In Japan or in America their are bullies and in both cases the parents, schools, and students are well aware of what is taking place. In fact, in the majority of cases you will find that school teachers and administrators are complicit in such bullying activity. Why? Because none of them would be where they are in a world where a successful life history strategy were based on competence.

Participants in bully culture are not renowned for their intellectual capability and hence it is understandable that they should confuse Darwinism for social-Darwinism--an innocent mistake?--and hence believe that a suicide provoked by bullying to be simply an expression of genetic weakness. They see it as "non-survival of the weakest."

Japan, specifically, is a culture known to subscribe to this kind of social-Darwinist thinking and hence a favorable climate for bullying is fostered here. This will not come as a surprise to anyone with an IQ above 23 or who is even remotely interested in being honest.

More alarming to me, I see a new bullying culture arising in the US which is expressed in socio-economic terms. As we used to say about my university's hiring practices: Screen out all qualified applicants. This is where Imerica is headed, so put that in your "soldier field" and smoke it.

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If you assault, of even touch someone in Japan, you will be charged and Jailed, get real.

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One mother commented briefly on the incident, expressing her shock and saying that her daughter had played with the two girls.

This didn't happen in a vacuum. If a woman is shocked because her daughter played with these girls, her daughter might have known what was happening, and had a role in it as well. Kind of makes you think.

Personally, I think every child should undergo some sort of self defense classes, if only because of the self discipline they instill. Particularly girls, who typically have self-esteem issues. Knowing how to defend themselves against unwanted approaches is a good thing as well.

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School staff said the girl was moved to a different class in April after learning some students had been saying bad things about her last year. They said the girl told her teacher in June that the new class was better for her. The other girl was absent from school for most of last term after being separated from her friend, and was also reportedly subjected to bullying last year.

School administrators knew the difficulty that these two students were having. These students were trying to reach out to authority figures and trying to explain their problems. This article does not tell you if any counseling took place. The authorities should take every situation seriously and investigate the problems. The facts with Japan is that for modern industrial nation, they have 33,000 suicides a year. Somehow, the teens (13-19 years) and over 55 years old person amounts to majority of this problem. The school district should have appointed professional counselors and psycologist to work with these kids and also make parents aware of the consequences. The depression and self esteem is very fragile in the young kids and it should be nurtured carefully.

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Thats right take the bull(ie)by the horns...

I grew up in a household where it was unacceptable to have someone bully you...I remember being a 5 year old girl and on my way to school for the first time and my dad sits me down and gives me the big first day of school speech,which of course included "bullys" He says to me "If anyone...ANYONE...picks on you or trys to hit you you pick up the biggest stick or rock you can find and you throw it at them.(OMG)Not only was that intimidating to me i didnt know school was going to be that rough. He says if you ever come home with a bruise or a black eye i will hurt you worse...(he wasent serious he was trying to make a point)Man i was scared of going to school...no matter what,those kids were big but...my dad was bigger. So i never had bully problems and i became the one involved in helping other classmates fight off bullies.

My daughter had similar problems in school only because for the most part shes a beautiful girl and you know how envious other girls can be.

At a young age i put her in self defense classes not so she can fight rather for the self disipline it offers. she seems to have more control, and higher self-esteem.

This is a very important topic It seems to be a problem in the American school system as well.

Please parents talk to your children and LISTEN!! to them. talk to the teachers,to other parents. stay involved!

As for the girls...God Bless their young souls my prayers are with the families.

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A few months back I got a call from daughter's school to pick her up. I got there and her blond hair had shoe polish brushed into it. Apparently one of the girls felt she needed an uninvited make over.

I calmly asked the teacher how that could happen in class. Especially in a private Catholic school here in Miyazaki. The teacher mumbled off a weak excuse. I asked to see the principal. The good Father simply said that kids would be kids. I asked how he would feel, if he could have kids, if his child were treated like that. He got my point pretty quick.

We got home and my wife wanted to go down the street, being the red blooded Texan she is, and take of it with her dukes. I advised against it and talked to the bully's dad. He and I went to a bar and had some beer and discussed the situation. He took care of his kid right quick.

My daughter and the other girl are good friends now. She is teaching my daughter Portugese and my daughter helps her with her math homework. Nobody had to get Rambo. I did tell my daughter she needed to stand up for herself. Dad will not always be there to get her out of scrapes. She is taking Kempo lessons, not to fight, but to defend. Kempo teaches not just physical, but emotional and meditative techniques.

I love my wife, but she wants to get Rambo quick when it comes to our daughter. Personally I feel talking and rationally working things out work better. I feel sorry for these two angels that they perhaps did not have a parent willing to talk or even Rambo the situation. As a dad I can't help but feel that is the case. I seldom cry, but these stories touch something in me. I weep as I type this. I didn't want to comment on this story, but I hope parents who read this DO SOMETHING when they have their child bullied or see another child bullied.

Also at work if they see it. Enough is just enough. Sorry for the novel.

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The really tragic thing is that this has been going on for 20 years (or more) and is pretty much accepted by the schools and society in general. It's going to take a long time to sort it out and get Japan to the point where bullying is seen as a problem that has to be dealt with. Sucks.

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meant..."Parent's didn't"

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Parent's did say anything at the meeting and there were 80 of them. I don't think that would happen int he US and other countires.

I really don't know what to say about the affects of bullying but only 'cause you move a child from one class does not mean it will not persist or that the damage can be remedied. Some children just can't take it; even the slightest of ill words messes them up. I dislike bullies with a passion. Whenever I see it back when I was in school and now as an adult I don't have any reservations about sticking my nose in and stopping it.

There does need to be more counseling services available and teachers trained in notcing children's behavioral changes.

This is just too sad.

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Basically, we all know that it is not going to change. The role models they have are their salariman fathers, the gurning goons on TV, the not-even-subliminal nationalism at every corner and women with the mannerisms of dribbling babies.

What do you expect them to turn out like?

Again, this comment is going to get removed by the mods, who seem to want this site to be home to only the most apologetic of eunuchs, but you all know I am right.

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Bullying is all about power. The way to combat bullying is not to let them have that power over you. This doesn't mean you have to punch them in the face or kick them in the you-know-where, though sometimes that seems like the best option. It's about letting them know that their opinion doesn't matter to you. And it SHOULDN'T matter. I was subjected to some cruel bullying when I was in school because I was [gasp] TALL, and [GASP!] had curly hair. As a young child, this really hurt me, and it still affects me to this day. But as I grew older and entered junior high and high school, I realized that I really didn't care what they said. Once I came to that realization, it was like a breath of fresh air. If I saw the bully-types hanging around, I avoided them or just walked right past them without a second glance. They didn't MATTER to me, and as a result, their taunts and other abuses didn't matter to me, either. Eventually, they gave it up.

The worst part about bullying is that, because it IS a power struggle, bullies will often pick out the person they feel is the weakest and least likely to stand up and tell them they're boring, childish, and egotistical little jerks. This is why it is SO vital for children to have support from their teachers, parents, and most importantly their peers. No child or teenager wants to be seen as "the baby" whose parents swoop in to rescue them whenever something goes wrong, or who go running to the teacher if they feel unhappy. This is why parents should not only teach their children that bullying is wrong and that they shouldn't let bullying get under their skin, but parents should also help their children learn empathy; give them the moral character to stand beside a bullied fellow student and tell the bullies, "Knock it off."

I wish something more had been done to help these two girls. My heart goes out to them, and to their families. There's always a better choice than suicide; I wish they had understood that.

Rest in peace, <I>imouto-chan</I>.

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Guest had a good point - Should bullying be moved into the category of involuntary manslaughter? In other words, should those who bully be, in some lawful way (maybe a law should be passed???), held responsible for causing death?

In this case - I would think the school is responsible. They knew there was a problem and failed to fully control it. If I understand correctly, it is the school's responsibility to take proper action, follow-up on the action and finally ensure the bullying had stopped - if not, take further action and again review, continue until problem solved.

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sarge, had a similar experience and my son has already in elementary school. Bullies are generally weak and when you expose their weakness their ability to bully vanishes with the respect of their bully friends.

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Well if they had each other why couldn't they stand up to the bullies? At least these girls weren't totally friendless. What a waste....

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bullying is involved in almost 100% of suicides, and every suicide death should be investigated as a homicide starting with these little girls deaths.

The easy way to stop a bully is to use video or audio. Its hard to deny if you have evidence. The ordinarily reluctant to act authorities, will be forced to help. Remember that most bully's here specialize in bullying and have a history of complaints against them. They will change their behavior immediately if its known that you video, however, be careful not to violate privacy laws.

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timorborder -

Can you honestly say that so far no one has ever said 'bad things' to any of your kids? And did you teach your kids that the way to deal with that was to have Dad go in and do a Rambo?

As I pointed out before, in many cases 'bullying' in Japan amounts to simply ignoring the child. Now that can be very, very distressing for the child concerned, but are you seriously suggesting it's a good thing to 'get in the face' of anyone and everyone who doesn't say a cheery Hello to your kid?

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This is very sad.

"One has to stand up to bullies"

I agree. I finally did after taking quite a bit of abuse, including having my glasses broken. I bloodied that kid's face and he never bothered me again.

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with an eye-witness saying they were holding each other as they fell

Sweet Jesus ...

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Anyone who thinks standing up to bullies is a viable option without decent support might be dreaming. This was a desparate act by desparate people, probably confused by a lack of oversight by their carers. Sadly, all it would take was for one of the classmates to have a word with the teachers to let hem know what was going on, but the power of bullies (and I'm guessing it is groups of bullies here) is so strong that the thought of becoming their next target is just too much! Incredibly sad, and what a waste.

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I agree klitty. Use the dukes that were given to you if the stare-down doesn't work. Don't just take the abuse. Wish you were stronger girls. Unfortunately this wearing down of one's self-esteem over years and years of abuse is what I believe causes these kinds of desperate acts. Perhaps Back To The Future should be required viewing in J-schools. McFly...!

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No, the worst thing you can do is charge into the school guns a-blazing and demand kids, teachers and parents all be thrown in chains.

Again I disagree. The safety of my (and all) children in paramount. It is better to get into the faces of either bullies and/or gutless teachers than to put your head in the sand a pretend that such things will go away. Following the later course of action can lead to the unsavory task of cutting down your kids after they have hanged themselves in the backyard, or spraying off the sidewalk.

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I notice that bullies resemble/reflect a lot about their parents.

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This lack of moral fortitude no doubt contributes to such bullying problems.

This is exactly the problem. One has to stand up to bullies. That's it. Get in their faces. Look them in the eye. Make them uncomfortable.

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Parents complain that the teachers shouldn't correct their kids, even if they're behaving bad. After all "we're paying their salary, so we decide".

Then after an event like this parents complain that the teachers didn't do anything. Missing the part about teaching ones own kid(s) about bullying.

this ^^

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When will they include moral fiber into the curriculum? Too many of today's kids are just gutless little wimps and at the first sign on of any negativity they jump off buildings.

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Parents need to teach their kids how to react to this kind of treatment. Everyone has a hard time at some point but that's no reason to take your own life. Why did these girls decide the solution was suicide? That thought process is the problem... not the bullying. A good old fashioned knuckle sandwich still works like a charm. If the girls couldn't do it themselves then surely they have an older brother, cousin... etc. who could.

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Reactionary plans are not usually a good idea, though I have to say I understand timorborder's (and others') disgust and anger with the environment that allows this to happen. Another sad aspect is that individuals feel this is an acceptable option, that they have no other "honourable" recourse beyond this. Honestly, it sometimes seems that they do not. How much more heartache and sadness will come to pass before that fundamental shift in society's mindset occurs? I feel so sorry for those two students and their families. RIP, girls.

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why be surprised? suicide and bullying are two of the most popular pastimes in japan

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timorborder -

Of course such things don't happen at junior high school in Japan.

Whether it happens or not in general is beside the point. In this case, all we have to go on is 'saying bad things'.

the worse thing you can do is sugar-coat the issue and pass such actions off as "kids being kids."

No, the worst thing you can do is charge into the school guns a-blazing and demand kids, teachers and parents all be thrown in chains.

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Yelnats and co. have hit the nail on the head. Bullying defines social interaction in Japan. How can this be addressed singularly at school when children see this all around them in their daily lives..?

This loss is a complete tragedy, and my thoughts are with the parents and families.

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the teachers probably knew what was going on but didn't want to get involved. some teachers don't want to be seen as "uncool" or in league with "geeks". there are no real initiatives in place to save the lives of would-be suicide victims. only lip-service in the form of posters. if the parents of bullies and their teachers could be legal/financially responsible for the victims death. perhaps huge fines and imprisonment, then there may be some interest in intervention. in the meantime, expect more of the same. curious that they chose to kill themselves before the (re)start of the school term.

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Beating people up, destroying their possessions, taking their money, etc

Of course such things don't happen at junior high school in Japan. It takes the bullies about 3 years to refine their "skills." As such, these pastimes are more common at senior high school. Point in fact, the number of stories regarding kids being called down to the local park to either be beaten (and lynched in some cases) or in order to hand over protection money.

Anyway, the worse thing you can do is sugar-coat the issue and pass such actions off as "kids being kids." Bullying where ever and when ever it occurs must be stopped by any and all means.

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In Japan 'bullying' often if not usually takes the form of ignoring people. 'Saying bad things', which is what we are told happened in this case, isn't nice, but it's a far cry from beating people up, destroying their possessions, taking their money, etc. Are you going to drag a classroom of adolescents to the police station in chains for what, not saying Hello? Descend on the school belching fire because some kiddie called your kiddie names?

I'm not saying bullying doesn't exist. Of course it does. But violent over-reaction doesn't help. As timorborder points out (though he seems to think he disagrees with me...) all you have is two groups each ruled by the mob mentality.

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Just another quick point, with regard to the reference made to lynch mobs by Cleo, it might be argued that by their very definition groups that engage in systematic bullying behavior differ little from the mentality of the mob.

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Interesting comments Cleo, however, this time I think I will agree to disagree. The simple nature of Japanese group dynamics determines that people who are different for whatever reason (whether it is appearance or ideas) are either made to conform (through practices such as bullying) or ostracized from the group (even if that group by definition is dysfunctional). Look at the nature of Japanese education. Either kids get on the escalator and compete for university entry or they are marginalized for life (this means that if your kid is a maladjusted nut job they can still go to the best schools. Point in case, the followers of Matsumoto Chizuo. On the other hand, no matter how gifted your child is, without all the boxes ticked on their education, they will never get ahead). As yelnats accurately points out, the bullying dynamic is even deeply ingrained within the popular culture of this country.

Moreover, many Japanese find themselves unable to get past a psychological aversion to conflict in order to protect both their own rights and those of their children. Indeed, let's take junior high school PTA meetings as an example. Many mothers (and it is often mothers who are left to handle such issues because fathers are absent due to work commitments) have serious issues regarding their child's welfare that they would like to discuss with teachers. However, at PTA or class meetings a sort of osmosis overcomes the participants as they take a greater interest in their belly buttons rather than create a perceived sense of conflict by disturbing the "Wa" of the occasion. This lack of moral fortitude no doubt contributes to such bullying problems. All I am saying is that instead of everyone looking at their feet and bowing after the event (when it is to late), if bullying exists as a problem in the school environment, then those in power (whether it is teachers, policeman, whatever) have a legal and moral duty to fully apply the rule of law in order to see that such disgusting behavior is stamped out. Don't cut the bullies any slack. Hang them out to dry and ignore their rights in much the same way as they ignored the rights of their victims. Moreover, parents are as equally bound to take any and all actions necessary to protect both the well-being of their children, and to insure the rights of children to an equal education as granted by the constitution

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No one's suggesting it 'isn't a problem' - two little girls are dead, for chrissake. But baying for blood on the inadequate information given in this article isn't going to help anyone.

Of course the issues of suicide and bullying need to be addressed. But sending out lynch mobs isn't going to solve anything.

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Denying that bullying exists BIGTIME in this country, and at all age groups till the end is just burying your head in a keg of nuka.

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how tragic for their friends and families.

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This whole country is into bullying. Open your eyes and watch some tv dramas and watch how they interact. Presidents bully their workers, and then the workers bully their secretaries and underlings. And then they in turn take it out on a bicycle, car antenna, or jump in front of a train. Their last thoughts are, I will show them. Too bad, kaicho and shacho do not take the trains. There would be a lot more jinshin.

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"The girls fell from the car park roof"

Fell? Falling would be an accident, I think jumped is the word they are looking for!

Poor Girls and their parents, they should have moved the kids that were doing the bullying to a new school, then they could get a little taste of their own medicine!

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another tragic death, they were so young

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what a waste on humanus feminae.

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In Korea the kids kill themselves because they're excessively pushed to study and achieve academically.

In Japan the kids kill themselves because they're being bullied.

In both cases, it's so sad and tragic.

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Anyone bullies my kid I swear I'll do time......

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Parents complain that the teachers shouldn't correct their kids, even if they're behaving bad. After all "we're paying their salary, so we decide".

Then after an event like this parents complain that the teachers didn't do anything. Missing the part about teaching ones own kid(s) about bullying.

Yes, this is a major problem. Teachers cannot discipline even if they want to. Things need to change with the PTA

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All too often, a bully is just as troubled a child as the victims, but they act out in a nastier way. Either way, perhaps going beyond punishment, and looking into the underlying causes of the bullying would be a smart way to go.

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Whoever is to blame aside, I struggle to fathom any understanding of a culture where so many young kids feel that there is nowhere to turn, nowhere else to go and no other option but taking their own lives.

If any of my kids ever committed suicide (God forbid) I would absolutely feel like I had failed them as a parent.

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This stuff makes my blood boil. Bloody brilliant.

Deaths announced over the PA system, and a meeting was held. Did they have to hanko something to say the attended the meeting of bowing and much breathing in through teeth?

Fantastic. I wonder what other brainwaves they had in the aftermarth.

Why the hell didn't they remove the spoilt, bratty sh!ts who were causing all this strife in the first place, not the victims. I'm sick to death of this sodding incompetence in schools / the country in general to either acknowledge there's a problem, or even if that first mighty hurdle is cleared, the decent way to go about solving it.

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quick correction: suicide note apologizing...

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This is a disturbingly common thing. It's so heartbreaking. I know of one junior high school in which these kids were bullying one kid to the point that he broke his arm. The kids who did the bullying got a stern yelling at from one of the teachers. Seemingly as a result, one of the bullies went home and jumped off of his apartment building in a suicide not apologizing for hurting his friend. It's all too sad. Japanese kids are such good kids but no culture is immune to misguided cruelty.

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Thanks ratpack. While I don't necessarily agree with the idea of kids inflicting injury on each other, I would strongly urge that parents be willing to go to any lengths to nip any acts of bullying in the bud. As I wrote above, zero tolerance is the only acceptable standard regarding such issues.

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Everyone knows how to deal with it when it's someone else's kids.

The bullies that apparently deserve to be expelled, clapped in chains and marched down to the dungeons I mean police station did what? All this article tells us is that some students had been 'saying bad things'. That could mean anything. They may well have been nasty little punks who wilfully, spitefully and gleefully injected misery into the lives of these two girls; or they may just have been ordinary little misses enjoying a bit of gossip. You can't seriously suggest expulsion for, eg, unflattering comments about someone's hairstyle or for calling someone specky-4-eyes.

from what I have heard, any kid with a slight difference in schools in Japan is mercilessly "beaten down" so as to conform to the "normal"

You heard wrong. While there is certainly approval of conformity, it isn't true that any kid with a slight difference gets beaten down. My kids were far from being identical to their peers in either looks or actions, but they were never 'beaten down', mercilessly or otherwise. That's not to say they didn't have their share of leg-pulling and name-calling, but it was no different to what I went through at school in the UK.

Parents complain that the teachers shouldn't correct their kids

I think you'll find parents object to teachers using corporal punishment, not to correction as such. Quite right, too.

Maybe we'll learn in time what it was that made these two little girls feel that dying was better than living. Until we do, it seems to me to be too early to make comments about bullying on the one hand and loss of face on the other (two extremes). The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

Condolences to the families of the two girls and, if it turns out that bullying was the cause, also to the families who find they've raised little monsters.

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timorborder

I hope the parents of the dead girls go after any and all related parties with a vengeance. Sue the parents of the bullies. Sue the school for its negligence in failing to protect the children, and sue the teachers individually so these events follow them around like a bad smell for the rest of their professional careers. When the parents have done this, they should then turn on the local board of education and demand the scalp of everybody who failed to do their duty.

I hope that the parents will not be too busy with blaming others for this and also find time to reflect on their eventual own shortcomings.

Many of us have been bullied during our school time in some way. But as smartacus said, mothers, fathers or other family members need to realize it and help the kids to find their way through it (by strenghten their back and not only by complaining to the school)

We should not be too passive and always delegate everything to the teachers, school boards or whatever. Raising children needs committment and involvement.

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The worst is that the bullying girls won.

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Well said timorborder....I would also like to see for once the kids being bullied to have the courage to break the nose of the person doing the bullying.

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What a waste.

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Parents complain that the teachers shouldn't correct their kids, even if they're behaving bad. After all "we're paying their salary, so we decide".

Then after an event like this parents complain that the teachers didn't do anything. Missing the part about teaching ones own kid(s) about bullying.

Who ever said irony isn't around in Japan?

Now where's that politician who garbled bullying makes Japan strong?

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Japan really should run some sort of school programme to stop bullies and bullying. That old saying "the nail which sticks up must be hammered down" seems appropriate: from what I have heard, any kid with a slight difference in schools in Japan is mercilessly "beaten down" so as to conform to the "normal". Unless kids are seen to be identical in every way to their peers, be it clothes, music, family background, hairstyle - they will be attacked. It is killing off the few kids Japan has. RIP to these girls.

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Bullying in Japanese schools, unfortunately this is nothing new. For once, however, I would like to see the authorities (the police, etc.) to come down as hard as hell on these girls. Throw them out of school and make it clearly known why such actions are being taken. Dragging them down to the cop station in handcuffs would also be a wish.

Meanwhile back at school, some of the teachers need to take a good hard look at themselves. The simple fact that the child was placed in a new class shows that the school was aware of this issue. Why were further actions not taken? Why didn't a teacher at the school lay down the law to the bullies and their parents. There should be a zero tolerance of such issues. You bully and you are out? You bully and you are canned. There should be absolutely zero tolerance of this.

I hope the parents of the dead girls go after any and all related parties with a vengeance. Sue the parents of the bullies. Sue the school for its negligence in failing to protect the children, and sue the teachers individually so these events follow them around like a bad smell for the rest of their professional careers. When the parents have done this, they should then turn on the local board of education and demand the scalp of everybody who failed to do their duty.

Finally, as a note to people with kids in the Japanese education system, if you suspect that your children are being bullied, come down hard and don't take no for an answer. This is particularly important when dealing with teachers in this country. The teachers might end up hating your guts as a result, but the old fear factor will make sure that they watch out for your kids. Remember, when it comes to bullying, zero tolerance is the only acceptable standard.

RIP the kids.

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Why don't these kids talk to their parents about this stuff? These kids are so weak these days.

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Moving the girl to another class doesn't do anything to resolve the bullying. The bullies have to be dealt with, by being expelled, if necessary. And the bullies' parents should be read the riot act, also.

I also wonder why the victims' parents never seem to notice that there is something wrong with their children. My mother could always read my moods when I was a kid. I often remember her saying, "I know that look. Something's wrong. What is it?"

Kids can be so cruel. There are times I am glad I am not the father of a teenager. Just once, though, I'd like to see a teenager with enough self-confidence to be able to stand up to a bully, not with violence, but simply by ignoring them. Sadly, though, self-esteem is an elusive quality in most teenagers, but more so with too many Japanese teenagers, for whom love and validation are not adequately given to them by their parents.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The ego of Japanese people is so fragile than even the slightest hint of loss of face will send them over the edge.

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