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Ex-student awarded damages over high school rule that banned dating

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A Japanese court on Wednesday awarded 970,000 yen in damages to a woman who left a Tokyo high school after being admonished by its principal to do so in 2019 for violating a school rule that banned dating by its students.

Good for her, it's time for other school to review their rules, students or ex-students now winning their cases against silly school rules.

https://japantoday.com/category/national/girl-wins-suit-against-osaka-prefecture-over-school-telling-her-to-dye-hair-black

21 ( +31 / -10 )

"Considering the school's educational ideals and policies, the rule is reasonable in the context of social standards as a rule for making students focus on studies by banning dating," said Presiding Judge Kazuhiro Murata in handing down the ruling.

So, it's ok for a school to micromanage a student's life? What kind of educational ideals and policies are they? Where do they get these judges from?

40 ( +47 / -7 )

Dating is a normal development toward adulthood. No dating policy? Seems ludicrous in a country of lowering birthrates.

Dating at that age would produce mature adults who will make good decisions and may later marry and find value as part of a family.

28 ( +36 / -8 )

This is one of the most stupid things I've read about on JT. Banning high school students from dating goes way beyond the authority that schools should have over students' personal lives and possibly causes all kinds of issues. Bit like trying to stop the tide coming in.

34 ( +38 / -4 )

However, it also ruled the regulation itself was valid.

As archaic as the rule is, the court really had no other choice but to state that it was valid. This is not a public high school, it's a private high school, and they can basically make any rules and regulations that they like.

I am glad the girl was awarded damages, and hope they change their regulations.

18 ( +23 / -5 )

So, it's ok for a school to micromanage a student's life? What kind of educational ideals and policies are they? Where do they get these judges from?

Due to the fact that it is a private, and not prefectural or public HS, yes they can, it's the student's choice to apply and attend the school. They know the rules before doing so, and if they dont like it, they have the option to go somewhere else as well.

I know of school's that are "private", that have their students actually sign an agreement not to date, not to have sex, not to work at PT jobs, and other things, that are BS, and they have students applying every year, to attend. (I also personally know of kids who went to that school I mentioned, who didnt "follow" the rules, and actually got kicked out because of it. They had zero legal ground to fight it, as their parents and the students themselves signed the above noted agreements, prior to entry)

-3 ( +11 / -14 )

Ridiculous! The only reason I went to school was to see and talk to the girls. I never missed a day and I studied hard because I wanted to see more girls and date a few as well. Dating during high school is important because this teaches you about relationships for the rest of your life.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

"Considering the school's educational ideals and policies, the rule is reasonable in the context of social standards as a rule for making students focus on studies by banning dating," said Presiding Judge Kazuhiro Murata in handing down the ruling.

Dating, makeup, dress-code enforcements do not make students focus on studies. You can visit multiple countries and see students engaging in all sorts of activities and still performing well in their studies. Japan is not unique in that its students cannot do this. This thinking is so old-fashioned and there is absolutely not valid research supporting it.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

I’ve seen teachers in private schools continually pressure their students over small infringements.

I had the feeling that it was akin to brainwashing and was more than a little disturbed by it.

5 ( +15 / -10 )

Maybe they wanted her to shave her head like Minegishi did; ridiculous (!)

Enjoy those 970,000 yen.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Why wasn't the boy classmate also forced to drop out like the girl was? How about him being punished too? Where can we read all about that?

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Was the male student she was dating at the same school? What happened to him? Was he treated in a similar fashion?

It makes a change to read about a student dating another student. So often we read about teachers dating students.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

But she was awarded damages. The judge speaks with forked tongue. How can you have a valid regulation without then legitimately forcing a pupil out for violating it?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

If you don't want to follow the rules, go elsewhere

-13 ( +6 / -19 )

If you don't want to follow the rules, go elsewhere

Like where? She's Japanese.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

The one who should have been asked to leave the school is the headmaster. Surely! He knows his job is to teach and not be the moral / opinion police.

The head knew the damage it would do not only to the young women, it also to her education.

I understand saying it’s a preference not to date and to focus on your studies but it’s not the LAW.

Im also sure the girls parents were rightly angry at the school, and the costs involved since it was a private school. They may have got up initially at the daughter but I’m sure they probably see it’s not their daughters fault but the school rule book, the headmaster, and how implement the rule.

good for the girl. The rule maybe OK,as preferred guidance but it’s just a rule, it’s not the law. Blimey! I can understand the school getting upset if students were smoking, drinking, getting pregnant, or not gong to school but most schools seems to be pretty good at dealing with these things and counselling students.

so what happened to the headmaster? Did he keep his job, quit? Fired? That would be much better reporting.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Or you can be innovative and change the rules that make absolutely no sense. Use your own brain and no that of the old antiquated system of control.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

When you tell a child don't do something with out giving a valid reason, what's the first thing they're going to do! Schools/teachers have no right to try to control an emotion these young kids are just getting into learning about.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I wonder if they told the male student also to leave.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Probably not, most schools here have even rules that give higher quotas of entry to male students even if they have much lower grades than female students. How can all this be constitutionally ok? Lucky my one goes to a private international school.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Because all high school education is voluntary here unlike in some other countries, a result is that school boards feel they have carte blanche to pile on the rules. All students have chosen to attend our HS knowing the rules, the reasoning goes, and the chances of disruptive anti-rules walkouts or protests are slim to none. As you saw in the news this week, it took a whole three years just to officially allow speech again at lunch break.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

97 for being kicked out of high school, considering the impact it can have, is pretty cheap...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is a great step forward and am happy to hear there are people standing up to this nonsense. I hope those idol groups and geinoujins with "renai kinshi" also follow suit.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I never understood this thing here in Japan where schools in general have the right to control almost the whole life of a student,from how to colour their hair to even the underwear or to limit their freedom of thinking and expressing themselves. This rigidity produce passive elements for the society. Really time to change and use some logic.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I never understood this thing here in Japan where schools in general have the right to control almost the whole life of a student,from how to colour their hair to even the underwear or to limit their freedom of thinking and expressing themselves. 

William, it's like I said before. After WW2 the Japanese Gestapo and Thought Police disbanded and took over the Ministry of Education. That's why education is the way it is here.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Like where? She's Japanese.

She had the option to go to a Japanese prefectural high school, or enter any of a number of what are called Tsūshin kōkō、a.k.a. "correspondence high schools" that have been around for a number of years now.

This is a private high school she went to, and like it or not, they can institute rules and regulations that would never fly elsewhere.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

This is a private high school she went to, and like it or not, they can institute rules and regulations that would never fly elsewhere.

Ex-student awarded damages over high school rule that banned dating

apparently not.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

@redwhiteblue -

Since when does The West equal the USA? Does The East equal Japan?

And re the article - yes the private school can put in place it's own rules as acknowledged by the court - draconian or otherwise - but the court ruled that the manner and style of the admonishment went far beyond reasonableness. In fact it was downright harassment, in the 1st instance repeatedly questioning her on her sexual activities (sexual harassment) and then pressuring her to quit (power harassment).

I've witnessed a milder power harassment with my 2nd daughter when in high school. It was done to "protect the school image" as imagined by the OBs. When my wife strongly pointed out that the victim here was my daughter not the school, they shut up.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

school, Im also sure the girls parents were rightly angry at the school,

The article doesn't say and that omission was one of the first questions I had. Where are the parents in this drama?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Aly RustomToday  09:34 am JST

I never understood this thing here in Japan where schools in general have the right to control almost the whole life of a student,from how to colour their hair to even the underwear or to limit their freedom of thinking and expressing themselves. 

William, it's like I said before. After WW2 the Japanese Gestapo and Thought Police disbanded and took over the Ministry of Education. That's why education is the way it is here.

Good point Aly,I totally agree with you.

Let me add that in a modern and civilized society such draconian rules need to get rid of.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

She also said the school regulation was unreasonable and claimed mental distress for being repeatedly questioned by teachers whether she had had sexual intercourse.

Yuck. More I know about what goes on in japanese schools more I get disgusted. Imagine enrolling your kid in a japanese school and make him confident enough to fight any kind of envy and ijime in the class just to be bullied on a daily basis by the principal asking if he was dating someone, if thats his real hair color, etc..

3 ( +7 / -4 )

The teachers are allowed to date students, why can't the students date students?

She probably would not have been expelled if she had dated a teacher instead of someone else. Just saying.....

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Japanese civil courts frequently try to please both sides.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Dating, makeup, dress-code enforcements do not make students focus on studies. You can visit multiple countries and see students engaging in all sorts of activities and still performing well in their studies. Japan is not unique in that its students cannot do this.

I'm actually reading this school's review on Google Maps.

You cant stop by somewhere/deviate from school route when going home.

You need a permission from school to get a driver's license.

You need to report to the school before travelling with your own family during holidays. (?)

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The Tokyo District Court ruled the admonishment by Horikoshi high school was unlawful, saying it was beyond educational discretion and it effectively forced the woman to drop out of school. However, it also ruled the regulation itself was valid.

""beyond educational discretion"" AGREE

""However, it also ruled the regulation itself was valid."" Strongly Disagree' kids especially teen will date NO MATTER WHAT if they wish to, the psychological impact of preventing LOVE is far more damaging on the kids than the impact on a regulation, I suggest that the school hire a team of teens psychologist for advice.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This makes sense only in Japan.

the rule against dating was valid and the Principal gets to decide who can attend, but the ex-student is awarded damages for breaking the rule? It isn't logical.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

She probably would not have been expelled if she had dated a teacher instead of someone else. Just saying.....

or like anywhere in the West, if a teacher asked a student if she had had sex with someone the teacher would be fired → arrested → registered in the sex offenders list

Sometimes I want to give a sister to my son, but these are the kind of things that make me think twice about having a daughter in this place.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Sometimes I want to give a sister to my son, but these are the kind of things that make me think twice about having a daughter in this place.

I don't blame you at all. I have a 4-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy.

My advice is go ahead and have a second one. If it's a girl just raise her right and be proactive about her life and what not. Many parents rely on the schools to do what they are supposed to do, but if we raise our kids right, hopefully these problems will be mitigated.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

What discipline? Kids should be allowed to do whatever the hell they want at school.

Education and discipline are not important when hormones start kicking.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

follow the rules or find a different school

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Can the school turn around to the students and tell them they have to turn up to lessons naked in the summer to save on air con bills? If they sign the documents when they join the school, that's OK? What a load of nonsense - private schools should have to respect basic human rights and treat students fairly the same as any other school otherwise they should get their licence revoked. The idea that private companies can do absolutely anything they like as long as they can persuade somebody to sign a piece of paper is for extreme right nutjobs I'm afraid.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Can the school turn around to the students and tell them they have to turn up to lessons naked in the summer to save on air con bills?

If they do that, I'd quit my job to be an ALT there.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

The judge did not think when giving out his judgement awarding the girl 970,000 yen that other girl students in the school might copy cat this girl

to make money. And perhaps boys too might want to play this game!

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Horikoshi?

That's the school for wannabe idols and talento, right? Rules like this should prepare their students for years of similar BS should they make it in showbiz.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

So, the Jgov is always crying about the low birth rate. They try to push for more drinking hoping that will lead to more sex. Aging population becoming a huge problem, but we can't allow HS dating. Sure wish they'd get their heads out of their collective arses.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Private school or not, they shouldn't be able to create what ever rules they want, at least basic human rights should be protected. I came here as an exchange student back in high school, a teacher found out I was going on a trip to Tokyo with my girlfriend, called my host family etc. Coming from Sweden where we are moslty treated the same as adults from High school it felt that I traveled 10 years back in time. All these restrictions and weird rules just hinders Japanese from growing up, and eventually they are thrown out totally unprepared.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Just on the "its a private school, they can make whatever rules they like " comments....I'm sure Japanese domestic law and any international treaties Japan has signed over rides the school rules.

If Japan is a signatory to any UN "rights of the person " treaties/documents there seems to me to be a restriction of a students rights/freedoms of association in a ban on dating .

Japanese judges are probably not known for abstract application of law.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

This is a private high school she went to, and like it or not, they can institute rules and regulations that would never fly elsewhere.

Yubaru is correct to state this point. This is not a Board of Education school. If parents stopped sending their kids there, the place would change.

A quick Google suggests its for rich folks with non-academic kids who often get scouted to become idols, pop stars, and talento. The school rules include bowing at the gate on the way in and out and going straight home without "yorimichi", calling in at Starbucks, McDs or wherever SHS kids go.

https://www.minkou.jp/hischool/school/4471/

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There are some that point out that it is a private school. Does this mean that private companies could also set up rules on dating/sexual activities, and to put it even more bluntly, same sex relationships? To me it is just mind boggling that Japan allows this.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Doesn't matter if it's a private or public school; there are limits to the rules and regulations that the school can impose on students. Their dating lives? Has nothing to do with the school. I'm glad the woman fought these ridiculous restrictions and won. School isn't just about studying; it's where kids go to learn social skills and how to interact in society. Dating is one aspect of society that some want to dip their toes in and so they should.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The school said the rule was reasonable

Any rule you make you must make sure it is not against the law. Stop ignoring the laws then you won't get into trouble.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yes, it's a private school, no, it's not against the law to set any rules that prohibit dating (as they're minors). Yes, there are parents that pay entire fortunes for their children to go to such places. No, those parents don't care about their child's developing social skills, etc.

I'd like to know on what basis did the judge awarded damages to the girl. I think this can be appealed and the school actually can win it...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Their dating lives? Has nothing to do with the school.

Haha- this is really naive... Have a look in the pricate education systems before commenting like this. Basically the parents agree to the school's rules, including the one that prohibits datind and the other that will cause a child to get expelled if the rules are broken.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Does this mean that private companies could also set up rules on dating/sexual activities, and to put it even more bluntly, same sex relationships? To me it is just mind boggling that Japan allows this.

For children under their supervision? Absolutely they can do this and much more.. The parents gave them permission to do so and agreed to it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Doesn't matter if it's a private or public school; there are limits to the rules and regulations that the school can impose on students. 

It does matter because the limits of those rules and regulations change. The kids at this (private) school are not allowed to go to Starbucks with their uniform on. This is so that some neighbourhood busybody does not ring the school or gossip about the school saying "I was having a coffee and the students of XX high were so loud!" Part of the uniform's role is to brand the kids like steer and broadcast which school the kids belong to.

Some parents want extreme discipline. They want school uniforms. They want "hako-iri musume". They want club activities from dawn to dusk to keep their kids out of "trouble". When kids are not academically successful, like this school, the rules get cranked up further. It is not keep the kids focused on "study", such kids aren't academic, it's a hamfisted attempt to control them. This is rich folks' school in central Tokyo, so there are lots of appearances to keep up.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Franz PichlerToday  09:05 am JST

I wonder if they told the male student also to leave.

excellent point, and it does make you wonder about the reporting. ( depends on his age and what school too) Clearly not high quality reporting.. But could there be a gender issue? Girl gets expelled, boy gets a pat on the back, and a finger wag, and continues.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Outside the fact that she admitted dating, what proof did they have ?

Because it is not like she was going ever to win that one.

Asking if having intercourses ? Do they need to know if a just a little finger or the middle one?

I must admit that if it is private, school can do whatever they want managing a child's life as long as parents who pay agree. Parents' choice and responsibility here and their voice is not even reported !

I wonder also if they expel to get the full subscription fees in order to be kept while no expenses afterwards.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

most schools here have even rules that give higher quotas of entry to male students even if they have much lower grades than female students

I don't doubt this. I have been in several classes in several schools, where the girls constantly have higher scores all around and better attendance records. They also participate more than the males.

I have definitely seen more than one case where I just looked at the boy and what he was doing, just wondering: "how in the heck did this kid make into this school?" And in other cases, I found out that the male student had very rich parents, and I just thought* "I see, nuff said."

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It probably would not have been a problem if she was dating a teacher. This is rather common in Japan.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

School is for schooling. Stay out of people's private lives. I could understand if they said not touching, etc on the premises but this is ridiculous.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Stay out of people's private lives

Funny for you to say that... Which part of "this is a private school" don't you understand? Parents and children had to agree to the rules before getting admitted.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

This is a private high school she went to, and like it or not, they can institute rules and regulations that would never fly elsewhere.

Ex-student awarded damages over high school rule that banned dating

apparently not.

How does this make the school a prefectural high school and not a private one? The court awarded damages, but found nothing wrong with the regulation.

She was, in effect, awarded the damages because of the harassment she went through after the fact, not because of the rule.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Teri Tagami Perhaps they are thinking she will only marry and become a housewife and her education was not as important as the guy who would eventually marry and become a salary man. Its the old Japanese way of thinking girl vs. boy future.

Why wasn't the boy classmate also forced to drop out like the girl was? How about him being punished too? Where can we read all about that?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Tell_me_bout_it I totally disagree kids should not be allowed to do whatever the hell they want at school. Kids should follow the rules that have been laid out by the schools and those rules should be laid out prior to the school year where the parents and the students are made aware of those rules and they both "Sign off" saying they understand the rules and the implication of violating them. That's what my son school did EVERY YEAR! Education and discipline is important, one must RECOGNIZE when hormones start kicking their is a level of maturity that is happening and that's when its time to start understanding and being responsible for your actions. In terms of the school, I think the school over stepped their boundary by violating her personal life. If its true that asking her about her having sexual intercourse by teachers is none of their business leading to her to suffer mental distress.

What discipline? Kids should be allowed to do whatever the hell they want at school.

Education and discipline are not important when hormones start kicking.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ebisen

Dec. 1 04:51 pm JST

Stay out of people's private lives

> Funny for you to say that... Which part of "this is a private school" don't you understand? Parents and children had to agree to the rules before getting admitted.

Show me in the article where it states that "this is a private school."

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Show me in the article where it states that "this is a private school."

One hint is the mention of Horikoshi Gakuen, the operator of the high school. A public school would be operated by the BoE.

A quick google of the school's name, and it is indeed a private school.

https://www.horikoshigakuen.ed.jp/

1 ( +1 / -0 )

gaijintraveller

Dec. 1 08:48 am JST

the

teachers find dates?

Apologies for thr formatting

Was the male student she was dating at the same school? What happened to him? Was he treated in a similar fashion?

BBut if the students are dating, where will

It makes a change to read eabout a student dating another student. So often we read about tachers dating

students

0 ( +0 / -0 )

JT: PLEASE FIX.

response: if the students are dating, where will the teachers find dates?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mocheake:

Show me in the article where it states that "this is a private school.

This needs a "please" and a "thank you".. otherwise, do you own damn research...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This needs a "please" and a "thank you".. otherwise, do you own damn research...

I don't get the impression he was asking you because he thought you were gregarious, it was because you'd made the assertion without supporting it. And generally, if you expect other people to support your assertions, you'll find that they remain unsupported.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

sakurasukiDec. 1  06:54 am JST

A Japanese court on Wednesday awarded 970,000 yen in damages to a woman who left a Tokyo high school after being admonished by its principal to do so in 2019 for violating a school rule that banned dating by its students.

Good for her, it's time for other school to review their rules, students or ex-students now winning their cases against silly school rules.

Yes. This is the 21st Century for Pete's sake. Get with it!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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