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Fukushima teacher tapes students’ mouths shut for talking during class

35 Comments

A 48-year-old elementary school teacher in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, has been reprimanded for mistreating pupils in class and practicing excessive discipline, the local board of education revealed.

According to the education board, the teacher had reportedly duct-taped the mouths of several pupils who were chatting during class on several occasions between April and July this year. He had also given significantly larger than normal food portions to students who would forget things and had forced them to eat, Sankei Shimbun reported.

The incident surfaced after parents made an official complaint to the school in July. After a careful investigation, the education board reprimanded the teacher and cut his salary by 10% for a period of three months, representatives said.

The teacher was quoted by members of the board as saying that his classes were not going well and he felt under pressure.

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35 Comments
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And this is a news! What a slow news day!

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

After a careful investigation, the education board reprimanded the teacher and cut his salary by 10% for a period of three months, representatives said.

It's like the teacher ended up putting his head in the noose. :‑(

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The man is nuts! Put duct tape on your mouth and then try to remove it. I believe he will be in the news again.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So, he's an elementary school teacher that cannot control children without physical punishment? Then, his punishment for physically abusing the kids is a 10% pay cut for 3 months? It hardly seems like a punishment befitting the crime. A one-year suspension and retraining would be more oppropriate, don't you think?

I work with kids from 10 years old to 22 years old every week in large classes of up to 40 students. I never have trouble with discipline because my classes are fun, as are my disciplinary measures. Discipline should be education, not abuse.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

A 48-year-old elementary school teacher in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, has been reprimanded for mistreating pupils in class and practicing excessive discipline, the local board of education revealed.

Reprimanded? I suggest the the local BOE be punished in kind and THEN fired together! Idiots.

Seems to me that this guy has issues that go beyond the classroom, and it would be prudent to do some more checking!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Isn't he in a way just following the policy of the government, which is steamrolling whistleblowers and free speech?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Why on Earth doesn't the ministory just get rid of him?

Obviously he's not suited to be a teacher.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Why on Earth doesn't the ministory just get rid of him?

What ministry? Teachers are not hired nor fired by any "ministry" in Japan.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Yesterday i saw my daughters volleyball coach grab another player by the hair and yank her outside,Being going on for years but everyone justs goes "shoganai "It is sickening but when I mentioned it they said she is just like that. A lot of people dont think it is wrong where as in western society it would be instant dismissal maybe even prosecution

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Which school was it ? Did they forget that on purpose ?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Students not doing well. Students not concentrating, but chatting, writing notes to one another, generally not paying attention.

Whose responsibility is it?

It's the TEACHER'S, 100%

If the teacher can't take that level of responsibility, he or she should do something that doesn't require responsibility - join the LDP, become a lawmaker, etc.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Which school was it ? Did they forget that on purpose ?

No because it's an elementary school they will not publish the name.

Yesterday i saw my daughters volleyball coach grab another player by the hair and yank her outside,Being going on for years but everyone justs goes "shoganai "

YOU are just as guilty for allowing it to continue. You let the other parents influence your decision making process and you worry about how your daughter will be treated if YOU say something about what YOU know is wrong.

So, what right do you have to complain when you openly admit that you have seen something that is wrong?

So you comment about problems, but are just as much a part of the problem as you are the solution, but what stops you from action is your concern for your child.........................just like everyone else!

Interesting conundrum, do the right thing and see your child, maybe, be bullied, do nothing, and see the abuse continue?

Difficult choice no doubt, not one I wish on anyone. I wish I could give you the moral courage to make the right choice, but that is totally up to you. Good luck.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Disillusioned: "So, he's an elementary school teacher that cannot control children without physical punishment? Then, his punishment for physically abusing the kids is a 10% pay cut for 3 months? It hardly seems like a punishment befitting the crime. A one-year suspension and retraining would be more oppropriate [sic]..."

Your suggestion is not really befitting the crime either. He should have his mouth duct taped and then pulled off for each of the students he did that to. That would actually fit the crime. The teacher did not garnish the wages of the kids or parents, so having his wages garnished is not really befitting...

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

10% for three months!? He won't even notice that. What the hell's the point?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I would like to hear why the teacher involved feels this action is appropriate. A former junior high school teacher told me one problem is that teachers have no training except for when they were in university..maybe 30-40 years ago..of course there are exceptions and I hear training will be required in the future to keep your license. The MEXT (Ministry of Education, Sports, Culture and Technology) needs to put out a bulletin to all teachers this is not appropriate behaviour and provide some examples of what is acceptable.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

YOU are just as guilty for allowing it to continue.

Agree with Yubaru on this. And, at least in my patch the schools seem quite sensitive to criticism IF a significant number of parents think something is out of whack. Getting agreement may, however, be difficult because contrary to the stereotype of Japanese group think, Japanese parents can have very divergent ideas about what they consider appropriate student and teacher behavior.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

A teacher pulling on the hair of one of my kids would immediately attract my attention. That teacher could not dogeza enough.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

To paraphrase Chris Rock - "I'm not saying he should have done it, but I UNDERSTAND".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

He shouldn't tape the mouth. The talking children might got bored what the tracher was talking. The tracher could let the students discuss in front of other children. Or consult other teachers to learn how to had,e noisy children. Or consult their classmates who are smarter than other students. Talk with their parents to discuss his dilemma before taping mouth.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is bad and dangerous. The teacher treated the student both outside the boundaries of their matrix and outside the boundaries of common sense. Even though the teacher was disciplined the parent should always have the right to take additional charges. Now the teacher has to face these same kids for the rest of the year that were sitting there laughing at him, the embarrassment and the shame that goes along with having someone you're supposed to respect that comes and duct tapes your mouth shut in front of everybody.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yesterday i saw my daughters volleyball coach grab another player by the hair and yank her outside,Being going on for years but everyone justs goes "shoganai "It is sickening but when I mentioned it they said she is just like that.

In this day and age where cellphone videos of crimes in progress are ubiquitous, where was your video of the volleyball coach abusing the child? Didn't think to make one? Then what happened when you immediately reported the teacher to the school administration? Didn't want to bother? Then you're just as much a part of the problem as those others who just say "shoganai".

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's the TEACHER'S, 100%

Here you are not 100% wrong, but at least 50%, look at the age of the teacher first of all, odds are damn near close to 100% that this is NOT the first time he has done something like this, or treated students in an abusive manner. Half the blame goes on the BOE for putting him there in the first place. This behavior wasn't new.

At 48 he is at least a 20 year veteran full-time teacher, by his age many, not all, but many, are already vice-principal's, or out of the classroom in other positions in administration of the school. he was still a home room teacher, not written in the article but HRT's are the one's who supervise lunch. So what does this mean?

He's done this before, or something similarly abusive, you dont just start when you are 48 years old. He has a history, and his NOT getting fired means that he has some pull with the BOE as well, at least friends there.

The BOE or education office hire and fire teachers in elementary schools, since you chose to refrain from answering my previous question to your comment here...

Why on Earth doesn't the ministory just get rid of him?

JHS and ES are typically vetted at the district education office and hired the prefecture nor any other higher level ministry has anything to do with hiring or firing of this level of teacher, and since it is a local decision a teacher with this much experience has friends all over the place.

He got lucky, he should have been fired at least, and if I were a parent would have filed a complaint with the police and had him charged as well. Chances are the BOE and teacher apologized individually to all parties in question, forced apologies at the minimum. Chances are also good that the BOE put pressure on the parents to not go to the police, to ensure that this didn't get blown up even more. There are too many cases to show what happens when the police get involved and this district was and is attempting to avoid further bad PR.

There is a whole lot of information NOT being printed in the article, but plenty can be inferred from the age and work position of this teacher, it's an educated guess.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I am supportive of teachers. Parents need to do more to keep things from getting to this point.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Typical.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

pfffff, 10% salary cut for 3 months.

If I had come home and said to my dad that I had my mouth duct taped for talking and disrupting the class whilst the teacher was talking, he would of said good, if it you do it again I'll punished you myself. Different time and era, you pretty much sneeze near kids these days, some monster parents will be there to fill a complaint.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I am supportive of teachers. Parents need to do more to keep things from getting to this point.

And just what point are you referring to, the point where he duct-taped their mouths, the over feeding? Being hired in the first place? "Points" like this happen daily in Japan, and unfortunately too many dont get reported and the perpetrator "teachers" get tossed around between schools like a hot potato.....and you suggest people support these teachers?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And he is still being allowed to teach...surely his teaching license should be revoked.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What he was teaching some topics, children know better than teacher. : how to use computer

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yubaru

You are making a whole lot of assumptions about this man which you cannot substantiate. We know he has taped the kids mouths shut and fed some of them larger portions of food...and that's all. Any other assumptions are baseless.

Teaching is a tough, thankless job where everyone seems to be an armchair specialist these days. Teachers are often punching bags, both figuratively and literally, but I defy anyone to walk a week in their shoes to really appreciate what the job entails.

I think his actions are bizarre and completely inappropriate, and he needs the reprimand for sure. But there is no need to round up the lynch mob yet.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

When I was a kid I talked in class once. This was in the 1970's. The teacher call me and 2 other girls who were also talking to the front of the class and beat us girls with a ruler. That was the last time I talked in class again. This punishment was allowed in the US back then.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tamarama,

You are quite right. There is much we don't know about this case. On the other hand, I do think that a teacher has no right to blame students for lack of attention. It's not their fault that he's boring. If a teacher is not capable of getting and holding students' attention, he is in the wrong profession.

However, I cannot agree that teaching is a tough, thankless job. I've been a teacher all my working life. Teaching elementary schoolchildren in England and English in Japan. The only part that I would say was tough was when I first started teaching, just after finishing university when didn't really have a clue what to do in the classroom. But, as I gained experience I got to really enjoy it. And far from being thankless, I find it a most rewarding thing to do. It's also a lot of fun!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You are making a whole lot of assumptions about this man which you cannot substantiate. We know he has taped the kids mouths shut and fed some of them larger portions of food...and that's all. Any other assumptions are baseless.

Assumptions? Maybe, I will call them educated guesses based upon experience. You on the other hand seem willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and also make the assumption that what you read here is 100% fact and that there is no more to the story.

If he was a 25 or 26 year old new teacher, hell I'd be giving HIM the benefit of the doubt but 48 years old and an elementary school homeroom teacher HERE? Been there, done that, I KNOW better. What I wrote is based upon experience and knowing that actions like this teacher took don't suddenly happen at his age.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I will play the devil's advocate here; since we don't know the whole story.

When I read this story, it really seems to me that he is one of those playful types of teachers who does crazy but generally funny things with his students to keep them in line, or remind them that they're out of line.

The fact that he was not fired and only received a minor pay dock for 3 months seems to confirm this.

I would bet that most of his students like him and think his stunts are funny - but there are probably one or two students either new to his classes or not able to handle his kind of humor in his classes. Then the parents got involved and made it into an issue.

I am sure people will bash me for saying that, but I spent years in that industry and I can tell you that monster teachers are in fact quite rare - and most teachers generally mean well and would not hurt their students. Not all kids are glowing angels of peace and harmony, and sometimes they need to be disciplined. The news story makes it sound like he gagged them and force fed them, but I would bet every yen I've earned in my life that it was in good fun and that everyone including the disciplined students were enjoying it while it was going on.

It's when crappy helicopter parents get involved that the teacher is made out to be a bad guy. The parents of these children have never heard of the word discipline and their kids are the ones you see wreaking havoc when out in public.

I used to throw wiffle balls and tennis balls at my young male students when they were being annoying, and flick the girls on the head or draw ugly faces in their notebooks depending on their personality. I guess I am guilty of severe abuse of children right? If you believe so, I would say you have a severe lack of understanding of the minds of children.

Last thought: Japanese teens are in general the equivalent of a 10 year old in Europe or North America. They do not understand subtlety.

With that said, feel free to bash me now (And the original teacher, who I am guessing is probably actually a very nice guy who cares deeply about his students, based on the fact that he was not fired and received minimal punishment despite an "official complaint" from a parent, who in all likelihood is a crappy parent)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"I must understand that under no circumstance during the general science lesson in the general science classroom at the King's School Grantham under the tutorship of Mr. Scrayfield may I talk unless I am given express permission to do so by Mr. Scrayfield himself or in response to said Mr. Scrayfield." Write this out 100 times and hand it in tomorrow morning. These were called "Lines", and this is what one of "Scraggs" lines would have been like. Failure to produce the lines on time would have resulted in a caning.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Taping mouths? I don't think I've ever seen that in any teaching manual.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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