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School bullying survey scrapped due to student concerns

34 Comments

A junior high school in Mobara, Chiba Prefecture, caused concern after it distributed a survey among its students in an attempt to root out bullying and other issues.

The questionnaire asked students for information that they may otherwise not have an opportunity to communicate, such as the names of bullies or students they did not wish to be in the same class as. Students were said to be uncomfortable being asked to write their names on the questionnaires, NTV reported Saturday.

The school in question released a statement saying that it now realized the survey was ill-advised and had already scrapped the plan. A spokesman for the Chiba board of education said they would like to see education professionals guiding their students to build better relationships.

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34 Comments
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oh come on, give it a try. Let the debates begin.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Well that is a given. Why would anyone put their name on it...only to be harassed by admin

5 ( +4 / -0 )

no names on the questionnaire and try again. i am sure they could learn lots and lots.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

For once the government tries to improve the conditions at schools and the students just chicken out...

If i was a teacher at that junior high school I would just interview every one of those students that "dont feel comfortable" and I would try to get the names of the bullies ASAP. Hundreds of children committing suicide every year because of some bad apples... it`s just intolerable.

Come on kids! Just have some courage and tell your teachers who are those bullies that make some student`s life a living hell, you could be saving his or her life!

-6 ( +3 / -8 )

No clue at all who ever came up with this idea, if they want pupils to rat out the bully in the class simply make it an anonymous qusetionaire and then i'm sure those uncomfortable would be able to provide the juice on who is the bullies.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Morons, they are suppose to be "teachers"

2 ( +6 / -4 )

They could also put the questionnaire on an online form for the students to submit. Eg make enough unique log-in details that can only be used/submitted once that are pulled out of a hat, can't get more anonymous then that...

It is a real shame that they say the survey was ill advised - it clearly isn't, just the method that it was delivered in.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The MAIN PROBLEM

Japanese students are UNCOMFORTABLE to talk about anything > DRUGS SEX ALCHOL SEXISM PEER PRESSURE SOCIALIZING DANCING TALKING OUT THEIR PROBLEMS & ETC.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Has anyone heard of the term 'ANONYMOUS'? Asking the kids to write their names on the survey is tantamount to asking them to put into a database for future reference on anything and everything. If the true intent is to gauge bullying honestly, the LAST thing that should be required is that name meets paper.

Seriously.... what idiots think of these stipulations in conducting broad surveys?

11 ( +11 / -1 )

Ok this sounds like a step in the right direction but let's go back to the drawing board??

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Mindless. Bullying is rife in schools and workplaces and you wonder if this is questionnaire is just a token gesture. Let's get ready for the familiar refrain of 'can't be helped' after the next suicide.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A big problem with bullying is that retaliation results in litigation. A bully needs a taste of the same they give to others. If victims are constrained, the pressure builds and is either directed inwardly, or goes to other extremes. The existing system enables bullies by punishing victims if they stand up for themselves. The system breeds cowards.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Many says bullying is a part of growing experience for kids make them grow stronger in society. That's BS to me. Bullied kids tend to end their lives when they cannot cope with it. Some even died cuz of bullying. It's about time the amoebas of the department of education do something about this. Many of you here posted to give it a try which I think is a good idea. Of course the survey should not put the names of the people who joined the survey for confidentiality but only the bullies. Rely on Education professionals..... WTF ... they don't even care. My daughter was bullied big time during her elementary years (Koriyama's Akagi Syogaku) and the Principal (an Education Professional) did not even bothered to look into it no matter how we reported , deciding us to transfer my daughter to another elementary school. Until now my daughter have fears and insecurities in her high school caused by bullying.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Left brain meets the right? Names demanded from all survey participants? The right ops out of methods of data silage due to the risk involved? No skew here man….? Let’s take a look:

''Everything is fine…NOW SIGHN YOUR NAME!!!!''

''I CAN'T SIR, MY ARM IS BROKEN!!!!''

Now you all know why foreign consultancy is a lucrative business here. I should know. Speaking of, JT posters function as data silage also. Except, the ego is paid or broken in only a thumbs up or down lads. Yes, peer pressure is a stroke and you can’t even get an accredited rep point…He-he-he!!! Scroll or Keys?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I dont blame the students for being uncomfortable about using or providing their names.

If they (school body/board ) wanted to target bullies, they should have created a survey with key common bullying issues that pertained to instances where the person answered as a victim.....anonymously.

The surgery would have had the desired effect because the individual that is bullying would be a person of observing interest after by the authority figures in that school.

It's sad that the survey is scrapped ...and it's a shame that it takes the person that's bullied to show they are being bullied ...by not taking part in the survey

To the adults that came up with this survey ..."pull your heads out of you're a$&es and revamp the survey were fear of reprisal is taken away !!!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

No doubt the teachers at this school know exactly who the bullies are and will use this as an excuse to continue to do nothing.

5 ( +6 / -2 )

Schools often take surveys asking students about bullying problems, HOWEVER, they do NOT usually ask the students to give their names, keeping things anonymous.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

A number of posters here expressed disdain at the idea of writing names on the surveys. Well here's something that happened at another school, they put up an anonymous dropbox and asked kids to write the names of kids they knew were dealing drugs. Good idea? Bad idea. Within days everyone who had a grudge to settle (and high school kids have lots of grudges, like girls who are prettier than you, that girl who took your boyfriend, anyone who did better than you in tests, etc) wrote down the name of their rival and put it in the box. There were even instances where a group of kids would choose a single name and each post it, creating the impression of consensus, because they thought it would be funny.

The consequences for the kids who were the targets of this anonymous dropbox were unpleasant. Sniffer dogs were bought in by the police, they were questioned, and always the same thing came up, "But 10 other students say you're dealing drugs!". These poor kids went through hell, and all because someone thought that an anonymous reporting system was a great idea.

The system was replaced with one that wasn't anonymous and it began to work and teachers were able to find some of the real dealers.

... The moral of this story? Just look at the internet people, anonymity encourages bad behaviour. When people know they can't be identified and held accountable then it leads to massive amounts of bullying, even to strangers you really don't know. Anonymity in schools where people have grudges and where kids are in the same classes with the same people day after day? Its just asking for trouble.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

A survey is no more than an excuse for teachers and administrators to absolve themselves of all responsibility. "No bullying was reported, so we knew nothing about it!"

The fact is, if the teachers and administrators have any involvement with their students, they already know who the bullies are. Either they're too cowardly to do anything about it, or they tacitly condone it.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Frungy beat me to it - an anonymous survey asking you to name kids you don't want to share a class with is the perfect tool for the bullies!

Either you can have an anonymous survey of how things are, either to figure out the situation or simply to make the students more aware, but most importantly without naming anyone - or you can have a confidential survey (or probably better, a drop box) where you can tell of any problems with names if necessary, and not anonymously! Confidentiality is essential, but anonymous accusations should be ignored, pretty much always and everywhere.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

My God! Seems the people running things don't have a clue to solve this problem! Your school system is in need of help! Most bullies are the real cowards! Anonimity is the answer! Standing up to bullies is the other answer!Here in the States, standing up could get you a bullet! Teachers! Do you fear your students? Take control or be controlled!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I have no doubt that many of the kids would have named some of the teachers as bullies. That is the real reason it was canned!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"the Japanese "tatami" image that is successfully sold abroad is vastly different . . . "

I think the word you're looking for is "tatamae,"

1 ( +1 / -0 )

next kid who commits suicide and leaves a note blaming a bully had better sign it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yup. Tate-mae.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Tahoochi: Can you say pedantic correction? Actually most transliterations of the term I have ever seen in English have it spelled as one word... but kudos to you for knowing it was 2. 33jw67 I guess you never heard of the argument from antiquity?

What I want to know is why is the unsuccessful bully survey is even news? Maybe because JT knew this would be hit with the usual suspects... who love nothing more than to rant on and on about the ineffectiveness of Japanese schools, like any of our nation's schools are fairing any better at rooting out the institutional world wide problem of bullying. Cause let's be honest it's not like any particular nation has got the solution to systemic problem of bullying.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

ThreeDogsF: Sorry to get even more pedantic on you, but I wasn't too concerned about the one or two words, so much as LFRAgain's tatamae versus my tatemae. Sorry LFRAgain, didn't mean to get nit-picky, but judging by your post, I think you got what I was saying.

Anyways, good point ThreeDogsF. We do see a lot of the usual suspects saying some of the usual things, don't we? And the best advice we have so far from these comments so far........... 'Make the survey anonymous'.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think people here misunderstand how Japanese schools run anonymous surveys in schools. When incidents of bullying occur the grade level, (typically) takes time as a whole to reply to the survey. The questions asked within are checked by a number of teachers prior to giving the survey and usually either the principal, vice-principal, or both sign off on it prior to giving it to the students.

Typically the HR teacher has the kids fill out the survey, collects them, and then the teachers go over the responses and decides what actions to take afterwards. I have never seen nor heard of any schools HERE putting out an anonymous survey box with regards to bullying, it's counter-productive and a waste of time and energy. It would really surprise me to hear that something like this existed HERE in Japan.

Bullying is and will ALWAYS be a problem, there is no way to totally eliminate it. However in todays society the definition of what is considered bullying has changed dramatically compared to when I was kid and many times the parents are over-protective and take any, even the tiniest slight against their child, as being bullying.

Some cases, mind you I repeat SOME cases are serious and need attention. But from experience MANY cases are just kids being kids and part of the growing up process and learning how to interact with other children. Sadly however people's senses of entitlement have skewed their thinking and now want to blame every little thing on someone.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tahoochi,

No worries. I was wrong and I don't begrudge anyone pointing that out.

A school I worked at in the past used a similar survey and insisted the students write their names on it. But they didn't have the forsight that the Chiba school did to see how utterly counter-productive that would be. When the surveys came back, the school staff spent the afternoon patting each other on the back because, lo and behold, there were no bullies at the school. Fancy that.

When I pointed out the obvious flaw in their survey, they stated that having the students write their names on the survey was a safeguard to present bullies from singling out weaker students with false statements.

I argued that if you submit the surveys suddenly, then you eliminate any chance for actual bullies to get together with peers to develop a concensus on who to pick on.

I then made the apparently insane suggestion that the staff actually compile the data revealed in the surveys to develop a broader picture of what were obviously not serious answers versus what could be deemed an actual pattern pointing to individuals.

Then I went on with my heretical ways by suggesting the teachers take that data compilation one step further and compare it with what the teachers actually knew and noticed themselves in class and around the school. Then they'd have a much more accurate picture of who was bluuying as well as who was being bullied.

My suggestions were met with a brief moment of blank stares, followed by, "Mmmm... Sou, kamoshirenai... kedo naaaa...." Then back to sipping coffee.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

LFRAgain - And no doubts comments about that "mendokusai" teacher, once you'd gone home ;)

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I get this rubbish at work, also. "Name: Department: What do you think of our strategy?" The Mao Zedong school of opinion polling. Let 100 flowers bloom and tell me all their names. "they would like to see education professionals guiding their students to build better relationships." Perhaps they should hire education professionals sufficiently intelligent to prepare an anonymous survey.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The problem should be fixed at the root. The majority of parents world wide are clueless in teaching their kids manners. So are the real teachers at school. Kids are being let down at home and at schools. Ethics/manner subjects should be compulsory from Elementary, junior and high school, just like music or art class is. These classes are currently offered in Japan at schools for severly troubled kids. Ive seen the changes. it does work. why not offer these subjects at reg schools?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Communication is the key. From teachers to parents. It seems that children in Japan, parents too, do not have typical conversations with each other. The "What did you do at school today?" "How is school?" "How is your friends?" etc.

For me, my kid comes home and he can't stop talking about what he did, saw, heard, etc. at his Jr. High school, with all the good, bad and ugly. He even tells me when he got in trouble with the teachers. LOL!

Not only communication, but parents need to teach their children about defending themselves too. I tought my kid to be a fighter. I have no sympathy for bullying and told him that if he ever expirience it, to start swinging and to swing hard. It doesn't matter if he wins or loses, the main thing is to not put up with it. He has never expirienced bullying, but he was suspended for three days for protecting another student from bullying last year. Imagine that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The survey isnt needed. The teachers ALL know who is involved, both as bully and victim. The problem is actually confronting the bully. Parents often refuse to believe their little delicate flower is actually being a bully at school. It's a lot easier to deal with the victim instead, moving them to another class or school. Plus, teachers are extremely overworked with extra jobs at school- committees, meetings, etc, so taking on parents is something they dread.

Plus, there is the 'shame' factor that permeates so many aspects of psychology and behavior here. The knee jerk response of sweeping problems under the rug and hoping they go away still dominates.

Assertiveness training/ karate for kids is great too. Even simply laughing at a bully often will confuse them and make them stop. Failing that, if there is any physical bullying at all, an immediate and direct response is beneficial. Bluntly, a punch in the head to the bully/lead bully. Win or lose the fight, at least the bully will think twice before starting up again.

Plus, as others have said, knowing your kids is key. Know their moods, faces. Know their friend's names. Can you name five of your kids' friends? If not, you may be a bit too distant from them. Ask them questions that can't be answered with one word or with a grunt. Turn the TV off at mealtimes. No cell phones at the dinner table. Weekly 'face time' one on one with your child. Etc Etc Etc

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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