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Elementary school teacher shows pupils pictures of executed hostages

44 Comments

The Nagoya Board of Education has reprimanded an elementary school teacher who showed her social studies class of 5th graders unaltered images of the two Japanese nationals who were recently executed by the radical extremist group Islamic State.

A spokesman for the board criticized the woman teacher, saying: "This was completely inappropriate. We will make sure to keep an eye on the children so they are not traumatized by having seen those photos," TBS reported Friday.

According to school officials, the teacher showed the 35 students in her class a photo of the body of Haruna Yukawa, after his execution, as well as a photo showing journalist Kenji Goto kneeling and awaiting his own brutal demise.

The teacher said she had procured both images from the Internet.

So far, no students have reported being upset or sickened by the images, school officials said. One teacher was quoted by TBS as saying that some students said that the experience made them contemplate the importance of life, as well as the transmission of information in our modern age.

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44 Comments
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Oh please, this is fake outrage. I'm glad that at least one teacher in Japan is making the effort to discuss something outside of the government approved lesson plans and textbooks. I suspect that is what the board of education is actually upset about.

5 ( +22 / -17 )

I don't mind the idea of the issue being discussed in a 5th grade classroom but the pictures are a bit much. Not that curious 10 yr. olds aren't a click away from finding them (and worse).

23 ( +26 / -3 )

Kids have already seen them and shared them. They are not naive.

Plus, video games are more violent.

-3 ( +16 / -19 )

Bahaha. Kids needs some trauma to toughen them up.

-18 ( +6 / -24 )

I am an adult and I chose not to view those disturbing images. But it seems these kids didn't have that choice.

21 ( +26 / -6 )

I think as long as parent are notified in advanced and the kids have the option to opt out, I don't see an issue. Being told that they have to see it would have been a different issue.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

The teacher had no right to force children to view these images. The last thing any decent educator or parent would want is for their ten year old to be desensitized to violent images, or traumatised. The news could have been discussed without showing the class the photos. Video games are not real, SillyGirl, and this was unfortunately all too real. Blurring the lines between the real consequences of violent action, and fantasy is also not a great idea for developing minds.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

So far, no students have reported being upset or sickened by the images, school officials said.

Says it all.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

What're the odds the teacher is a right-winger?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I'd be angry too. I've seen images like that in the past, and they didn't sit well with me. I choose not to look at them now. I'd rather my kid make that decision on his own, rather than have a teacher force it on him. The pictures are not appropriate.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Nothing that their OWN culture hadn't done for CENTURIES.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ive also accidentally come across images like these in the past, and they reduced me to a sobbing wreck. I don't see what good can come of showing children explicit images of violent death. They were capable of understanding the horror without actually seeing things which you can never quite erase from the mind's eye. It is one thing an adult choosing to look at the images, quite another being a child forced to look. The teacher needs to be dismissed.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Completely inappropriate, especially for little kids. The number of teachers you hear about doing this kind of thing is ridiculous.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

My question is first what is the objective of the learning experience. What was the lesson being discussed and if photos enhance the learning. I would say it really in not necessary to show the photos - other photos would be fine for this kind of discussion. Nothing about the reasons in the article?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

We will make sure to keep an eye on the children so they are not traumatized by having seen those photos,

This is the part that made me do a double take. How in the hell are they going to "make sure?"

So far, no students have reported being upset or sickened by the images, school officials said.

So I guess everybody's OK then? Genius there admins.

THAT being said, I remember being in 3rd grade when Jim Jones and co drank their cool aid. I also remember seeing pictures (then on the cover of Time Magazine) IN SCHOOL of hundreds of dead people laying about.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Was it necessary to show these pictures to discuss the issue? No. Was it appropriate to the age of the students? No.

However, this is Japan where school children are traumatized repeatedly with graphic descriptions of people dying slowly in agony after the A-bombing, so this teacher may have inadvertently opened up a debate worth having.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

5th grade is a bit young i must say, however - there comes an age when the truth needs to be acknowledged. Right now a video comes out and is couched in language " not verified" " needs to be checked to see if it is real" and "we won't show anything " at the same time a message goes out regarding sympathy to the family.

what it leaves is a sense of disbelief that anything actually occurred, so no one wishes to commit any resources to fix the issue- all because " the video cannot be verified"

between IS and the Ukraine there are a lot of Unverified fighters walking around killing people - and we don't show graphic images because it might throw someone off from their Ramen bowl or MOS burgers

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Never to young for today's world. These kids have already seen these photos on the internet. punishing the teacher is uncalled for. They need to learn the truth that the world can not live together.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

These are JAPANESE school kids. If they read manga they've seen way worse already.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Maybe appropiate for high schoolers, not for 5th graders. Good initiative tho on teacher's part.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Let's see, in the early 70's my 5th grade history book had pictures of bodies at Nagasaki, the little girl in Vietnam running with napalm burning off her clothes, the monk who set himself on fire in Hanoi, and pictures from Auschwitz and Buchenwald. So what is the difference here. Sorry, kids need a good dose of relality in education too.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

I agree with kyushubill, we had the same pics in history class plus visits to Dachau and Mauthausen. Would say most western people grew up with those images.

That was before we studied 20th century history in detail(separate class).

5 ( +5 / -0 )

What is the problem with this? The photos were obviously presented in an educational manner. It's a good thing to see Japanese kids getting a rounded education instead of all that brainwashing rubbish presented in government sanctioned textbooks.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Kyushubill & It"s,

Same here. 5th - 6th grade. Black and white film with somber narrations.

Perhaps I was not fully aware, but the agenda, if there was one, was of horror. Not pro-country (in the case of Hiro/Naga).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Their own culture was doing this for CENTURIES, it's nothing NEW.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

some people are saying that Manga and DVD game are more violent, well that may be the case, these are at the end of the day "fantasy " not real life, but this is real life, so, as for showing them to 5th graders, I think that is Inappropriate. but full marks to the teacher for showing what these nutters get up to, and not sugar coating things.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Watching the news last night, the point of the lesson was the sanctity of human life, nothing to do with ISIS.

Seems a pretty good way to make that point....

2 ( +3 / -1 )

some people are saying that Manga and DVD game are more violent, well that may be the case, these are at the end of the day "fantasy " not real life, but this is real life,

Brian, that may be so, but if that is the case, perhaps it is even more important that the safety of the fantasy is shattered. Because far too often, children have taken the fantasy acts they see, and applied them in real life to disastrous effects.

I can relate. I remember as a 5 year old child in 1983 as a small child watching "Superman III" in the theaters with my parents. A week later, in an foolish attempt to emulate Superman, I jumped off the dresser in my room. Luckily, the only person I hurt was myself, although I still carry a roughly 10 cm scar in my head from the incident.

Meanwhile, children (and not just Japanese) see every day acts of fantasy violence and chaos that they emulate on others. Each time one of these horrific incidents occurs, the common words heard from the kids is that they did not recognize the danger or severity of their actions.

Perhaps by showing the real effects of these acts, and not as you say "sugar coating" them, the children will come to realize that no, taking out a sword and hacking away doesn't result in thirty minute awesome fights where everyone walks away at the end, with the bad guy merely knocked out.

In that, I support the teacher. While I agree with my wife when we discussed this article that it should be the parents' responsibility, the fact is most parents abdicate the responsibility to schools, or intentionally keep their child in the saccharine fantasy world. Neither is good.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In fith grade, they are on the internet and have probably seen more gore than that already. And in social studies they should learn about the world, and not about a sugar-coated version of it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I agree that kids of a certain age should be aware of certain issues not taught in school. Also I feel that the teacher (Not knowing his intentions) should have given the students letters informing their parents of his intentions with the parents signing yes or no for this to be allowed. Many kids here needs to know certain realities not to induce fear but awareness. This Mickey mouse and Disneyland fanasties can only carry them so far and preparesthem for little or nothing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Yenot

Just for the record, it's a "she".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Everything nasty in Japan is hidden behind large sheets of blue tarpaulin.

Perhaps if people did see the results of crimes and accidents, they might be a little more circumspect, and show more awareness that in real-life, you cannot just re-boot and people become alive again.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Not very responsible on the teachers part, but I am certain fifth graders se much more disturbing images all the time in manga cartoon form.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Children aren't allowed to watch porn in class, so why would it be okay to watch the gruesome real-life murder of people who didn't consent to their murder nor to their picture being taken?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@lucabrasi, My mistake and thanks for looking out.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

One teacher was quoted by TBS as saying that some students said that the experience made them contemplate the importance of life, as well as the transmission of information in our modern age.

Elementary students? Hard to believe. Very hard to believe. Very very hard to believe.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I'm sure most have seen worse by watching animes.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In this modern age social ethics and moral values have been deteriorated overtime. As a result, the number of crimes like murders, thefts, kidnaps and illegal practices like terrorism, drug abuse etc. have seem multifold increase. Practicality and shrewdness have taken the shape of greed, jealousy, negative competition, and temptation for easy money which is completely detrimental to a happy and healthy social life. Basically human beings have lost patience and have become selfish in their motives and hence ethics and morals have declined and lost value in their lives. A person with good morals is involved in good deeds and always knows it. All human beings are born with a conscience that tells you in your mind whether what you are doing is morally right or wrong. In the end it is the duty of a parent to teach morals to children to help transform them into functional adults in society. However some children are raised in dysfunctional families so schools can help by providing lessons in ethical thinking and action by teaching some basic principles of ethics common to all faiths such as do no harm, make things better, respect others and be fair and loving. These values are defined differently in different parts of the world, but they are cross-cultural and can be taught and expected in homes and classrooms as well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

n this modern age social ethics and moral values have been deteriorated overtime. As a result, the number of crimes like murders, thefts, kidnaps and illegal practices like terrorism, drug abuse etc. have seem multifold increase.

Care to qualify that? Because according to those that actually look at numbers, most of these things have gone down in numbers, not up. The perception is that they have increased, due to reading news that is financed by advertising and therefore needs to be sensational in order to increase readership.

That's why people who believe that the news they read is an accurate representation on the actual state of events, are showing that they have been effectively brainwashed by the media. Fear sells.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Most Japanese are oblivious to anything they deem somewhat out of character that might "rock the boat"! These were only pictures that anyone can see on TV or in the newspaper. Not the videos. They have to face some disgusting and serious issues rather than go shopping and eat chocolate cake, and being afraid of what the normal westerner faces in daily life.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I see, it's alright to let these kids watch violence on TV but not to be shown this. Support the teacher.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Jesus, that was incredibly poor judgement by the teacher..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Teacher is in her 20's, according to news. Or ex-teacher. Estimate on job stability of a teacher the Board of Education has had to issue an apology for?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So far, no students have reported being upset or sickened by the images

Probably been de-sensitised by the manga culture. Nonetheless it was a stupid move on the part of the teacher

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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