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Teacher reprimanded for slapping 41 students who failed to follow excursion rules

53 Comments

A 41-year-old public elementary school teacher was formally reprimanded by the Fukuoka City Board of Education on Tuesday for slapping 41 fifth grade elementary school students on April 27 after they failed to follow rules on what they could and couldn’t take on their school excursion.

The school in Jonan Ward had set a rule before the excursion on April 24 that the students were only allowed to eat snacks distributed by the teachers, but many students were found to have eaten other snacks brought to school.

All of the fifth grade students were in a group gym class on April 27 when the teacher asked those who had eaten other snacks to stand and line up. He reportedly told them: “You think we can have gym class today under these kinds of circumstances?” before running down the line slapping each of the students once on their cheeks with his open hand. None of the kids were injured in the incident.

The teacher told the board that he lost his cool when nearly half the fifth grade failed to follow the rules laid down before the excursion.

© News reports

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53 Comments
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I would say he 'lost his cool' alright. He should also lose his job. There's no corporal punishment and yet he slapped FORTY-ONE kids??

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The guy is a nutcase and should be sacked. He has no place in dealing with the education of kids, but is just a despotic brainless nutjob.

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Shouldn't this guy be yelling out a mega-phone van for a right wing group?

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That's a little too much to have a teacher up to. He should get slapped rignt out of the educational system. A bit too slap happy.

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although it isn't the teacher's right to hit the kids, these kids do need a whack in the back of the head from time to time. half the class didn't follow rules. i'm sure i'd lose my cool as well, but maybe just cancel the excursion.

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I see teachers slapping and man handling kids all the time. If they think this is an isolated incident then they are fooling themselves.

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Those kids must have real guts to stand up and admit to their crime. A teacher like that has probably lashed out before and they must of expected it. I would be proud of my child if they own up and except the consequences.

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Yeah pointofview, it is far from isolated. It is pretty much SOP in Japanese schools. It's not called abuse in Japan. It is called discipline. Remember, 24% of Japanese adults have some form of mental instability. That means, a quarter of the teachers are nuts too. I've witnessed too many events that ended in a teacher being reprimanded, but that doesn't mean it stops nor does it mean the kids are not psychologically abused.

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I'd say 5th graders are old enough to get an open-hand slap to the face. They were misbehaving, clearly have no regard for consequences, and it's wrong to teach kids that it's okay to misbehave.

No misbehaving, no slaps on the face. You have to admit the mental image is kind of funny.

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Wow....not sounding old but back in my day they would have brought out the cane/strap.....the students would have known what to expect if they failed to follow the rules.....however if the teacher had of used an open hand slap to the cheek i guess a few of the students i went to school with would have let one rip right back at him!!!

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Rules are made to be broken

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Shouldn't this guy be yelling out a mega-phone van for a right wing group?

Lucky he left his swords at home or goodness knows what might have happened.

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I'm all for slapping a kid on the butt when they do wrong but the face? Thats just wrong.

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Wow....not sounding old but back in my day they would have brought out the cane/strap....

They would have caned you for eating a snack on an excursion? I'm not against corporal punishment but that's just barbaric.

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Before slapping the kids around, this guy should look in a mirror. Clear lack of leadership in this case. What is the old expression, "Those who can do, those who can't teach." For all the moral outrage about this, I don't know why anybody has not considered lodging a formal complaint with the police against this "teacher." In a country that does not allow for corporal punishment in its school system (at least that is what is written in the books), what this clown did amounts to assault. Put him in front of a court and shame the guy.

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If I was the father of one of the kids I would want to return the favor with a little more TLC attached.

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I'm sure he didn't hit them hard. It said no one was injured. And Japanese people get injured so easily. A like slap on the cheek might be just think thing for these kids. What's so bad. I bet they don't forget to follow the rules. What if one of those snacks had peanuts in them and one of the kids ate it and was allergic. Then we would be complaining that the teacher did not control his class. Double standards. No worries. I support this teacher for at least trying. But trying is not rewarded here. It is hammered down. Only in Japanese is "different" and "wrong" the same word: "chigao"

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The creativity here amazes me - if I was as angry as he was the idea of running along slapping the kids on the cheek wouldn't occur to me. When it comes to crime I notice the Japanese can be very creative.

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I think a teacher has the right to reprimand the students in certain cases but these snack rules were more than stupid. Teachers have to exercise their right for a high moral aim, so I say in this case the rules were stupid and the teacher twice as stupid as the rules.

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Mexicanish

I can't lie I did have a flash back of the Three Stooges and have a chuckle reading this. Yeah I know he should punished for what he did but, I still had to laugh.

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"Remember, 24% of Japanese adults have some form of mental instability. That means, a quarter of the teachers are nuts too."

Gen. Mcarthur, said "they're a bunch of 12 year olds", and Joseph C. Grew U.S. Ambassador to Japan 1932-1941 said "their thinking is 2000 years out of date."

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Probably one should slap the person who made the snack rules before consulting with the parents.

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The issue of snacks should be higher on the agenda here. All to often kids come to school with sugar or salt-laden snacks and proceed to stuff their faces. Anyone think about the harm to young teeth and childhood obesity? No. Silence. Perhaps the teachers at the school were trying to set and maintain standards with snacks consumed at the school and on school outings. This in no way means it is ok to hit kids in the face, though.

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Eating snacks is no crime. Nobody should be slapped for eating snacks. It is not a concentration camp, it is a school excursion (ensoku).

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If a japanese teacher ever lays a hand on my kid I will go to jail for what I do in response. And it will be worth it.

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What this teacher did as a measure was wrong but I beg to differ to all that slam on hard on him.

In the past Japanese teacher had very high rights and he could beat the hell out of their pupils. Until everything was changed to 180 degrees - that's why Japanese are so sensitive when force is used by the teachers.

But now the things are out of control and teachers need their rights to be protected. They can't basicaly discipline their kids - monster parents are coming immediately for even smallest thing said to their dear child.

Parents talking and messing with classes on open days - teachers tell them to shut up - they appear in blogs and get attacked, personal data released, etc., etc.

I don't say in this exactly case to defend the teacher but something has to be done so the teacher in general have more power than being just babysitters.

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I say let the kids have snacks!

Some students tell me the school lunch isn't enough to carry them through club activities at the end of the day, and I'm not surprised. Doesn't mean there shouldn't be some restrictions though.

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I had a teacher grab and shake my daughter about 15 years ago at school because she forgot her red pen, after I finished with him, he never came near or spoke to my daughter again!

Moderator: Readers, please stay on topic and refrain from posting outbursts about how tough you are.

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SebastianFlyte at 10:26 AM JST - 5th August Rules are made to be broken

sorry, but i disagree with this. "rules are made to be followed".

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I would have given them extra homework and make them write five pages of "I will learn to folow rules".

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follow

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did he just line them up and run down the line with his hand out slapping them ? anybody got a video ?

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many students brought snack from home <--- the teacher should have talked to the parents first!! Parents either ignored the rule or didn't know the rule.

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This idiot teacher should get 41 slaps by the parents of these poor, hungry students!

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It's great to see all the people stating it is OK to hit a kid on the butt or the, "in my day" ploy, but what has that got to do with this? This is straight up abuse. In other countries he would face criminal charges and if it was one of my kids he had slapped I would be taking any action available to have him removed from the school and, if possible, face assault charges. Hitting kids in any way, shape or form is NOT OK!

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Not a very good way to set an example of following rules...slapping students is assault, plain and simple. Good that the school board took action, but what about the police taking some action???

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The rule in this country (I love by the way) is not to follow rules. The teacher did a good job. Slapping the kids on the cheeks softly made the kids aware they were breaking rules and that it is not to be condoned. Should the teacher have said, "Anone, sunakku wo motte kuru ha dame desu yo, kore kara sou shinaide ne". Gimme a break.

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This kind of thing is fairly common in the Japanese education system. What a sad reflection of the society.

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Are the school lunches that bad that everyone is hording snacks? We maybe slapping the wrong people here.

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Well, this was a stupid thing to do. Punishment for failing to follow rules such as the one noted in the article should have amounted to maybe not going to anymore excursions in the futurev or some other less severe punishment. In many articles you always read that the person in question seems to always say "I lost my cool," "I was stressed and snapped," or "I was frustrated." All this building up surely has been since they were very young. Shows the amount of mental stress their society ia placed on. Maybe some of their tradition needs to be left behind. Like holding everyone accountable when only 1 person does something wrong in a group and not feeling awful regret and shame when a partner commits a crime that you had no part in.

I think teachers need to have access to counseling services like mental therapy at their disposal to deal with the stresses of workign with childeren.

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This teacher is an absolute idiot. He should have been fired in the first place!!!

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"students were only allowed to eat snacks distributed by the teachers"

I'll bet they included those nasty ebi sembei.

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Slapping children is the parents case... Don't slap children, just get louder (or really loud) to teach them your point...

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I'd say 5th graders are old enough to get an open-hand slap to the face. They were misbehaving, clearly have no regard for consequences, and it's wrong to teach kids that it's okay to misbehave.

By the same logic then, it's also wrong to let teachers think it's okay to misbehave. In this case, the misbehaviour being that the teacher, knowing that corporal punishment is against the law, still clouts 41 kids. So therefore he should be punished so that we teach teachers that rules are there to be respected. Period.

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Wow. A 41 year old man hitting 5th grade elementary school students. I guess he was trying to show the kids how tough he is.

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Alright, I know this is deviant from the current mindset that is being built today, but I don't think corporal punishment is that bad a thing (in this case, it wasn't much called for). I certainly don't think kids are all innocent and I do think they learn from an old-fashioned straight forward punishment. The whole business where kids are way overly protected from all the "evils" in the world are turning them into exactly what people are complaining about nowadays. They can now get away with so much, not allowed by law to be effectively reprimanded (like they care if you say "you shouldn't do that"). Kids are not idiots that have no idea what's happening around them. They are opportunists and learn very quickly. There are limits on what you should be able to do to them, but there should be limits on what you can't.

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So just to clear things up, IS corporal punishment in the schools illegal in Japan? I have to ask because I had thought possession of child pornography was illegal worldwide but apparently not in Japan.

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No wonder the criticism of Japanese public school education system is an ordinary practice in a civil society. It's really sad to see one misbehavior by a responsible adult(a teacher) who lost a temper giving the students and parents extremely bad impressions on the whole school system.

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Wow.There are sooooo many people here who have no idea about the insolence teachers have to put up with from students!

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There are sooooo many people here who have no idea about the insolence teachers have to put up with from students!

"Insolence"??? I had trouble understanding what you just said above. This is not about their academic performance or commitment to a(n) academic/social life. If you are referring to their actions that ignored what the teacher said, you are using a wrong word.

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Amerijap,

I am referring to the contempt that some, if not all of the students displayed by ignoring what that teacher had told them, so no, I'm not using the wrong word. Please refer to http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/insolent.

Of course, you may not think of them as having been rude, but that's a matter of opinion, not word choice. As an English teacher (i.e. a "real" one), I have a reasonable idea of both semantics and some antics of students.

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soothsayer,

you may not think of them as having been rude, but that's a matter of opinion, not word choice.

Yeah, you may be right in that respect. However, that does NOT give this teacher a legitimate excuse for his temper-tantrum upon the students. An elementary school is not a military boot-camp, period.

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Soothsayer - if I were to slap an employee or every day person who did not obey me I could be arrested. Kids deserve the same rights - insolent or not physical abuse was uncalled for.

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