In recent years, we’ve heard a number of disturbing accounts involving teachers hitting students at Japanese schools, and this week, another disturbing case came to light, when a foreign English-language instructor was seen slapping a two-year-old child during a class at a child daycare facility.
The incident occurred in March this year, at an unlicensed daycare facility in the city of Kitakyushu, in Fukuoka Prefecture. According to reports, the male language instructor, originally from Canada, was teaching an English lesson to a group of young students when he reached down and smacked a boy who appeared to be rolling around and tugging on another child’s shirt on the floor.
The incident was captured on video, and submitted to a closed group on social media, where it’s since been leaked online.
The video shows the instructor hitting the child, who was two years old at the time, on the lower half of his body. After hitting him, the teacher can be seen lifting him up and forcibly sitting him on the floor, as the boy begins to cry.
Immediately afterwards, the teacher can be heard saying, “Why did you do that?” and then “Are you okay?” which seems to be directed at the child next to the boy, whose shirt had been tugged on by the boy before he was hit.
While the video has been making headlines around Japan for the past week, city officials say they were first alerted to the case when they received a phone call from a local resident complaining about the teacher’s behavior in April. However at that time, the childcare facility, which looks after children aged between the ages of 18 months and six years, denied any claims of inappropriate behavior. On May 13, however, after the video appeared on social media, another resident contacted the municipal government to inform them of the video, which clearly showed the teacher hitting a child in his care.
This prompted another inquiry from the city, which led to the daycare center acknowledging that the abuse had occurred. The center, which offers English conversation lessons with native-speaking instructors, suspended the Canadian instructor on May 14. The instructor, said to be in his 40s, had worked at the daycare center on a full-time basis for five years.
Fukuoka’s Nishinippon Shimbun newspaper reports that the video is one of a number that were secretly filmed on different days during February and March this year. The person who took the videos is said to have witnessed the teacher’s violent behavior on a daily basis, and besides smacking children on their bottoms, it’s claimed that the teacher also dragged children off play equipment by their collars and thrust books into children’s mouths.
The daycare facility held a briefing for parents and guardians on the evening of May 14, after which a spokesperson for the facility told the press that they will be seeking advice from lawyers regarding correct disciplinary measures. City officials say they will now provide continual guidance to the facility to ensure an incident like this doesn’t occur again.
Source: TBS News
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