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Lawyers establish first national anti-bullying network

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A group of lawyers has established the first ever national anti-bullying defense network in Japan to help represent the families of children who killed themselves due to bullying.

Lawyer Genko Tsuda, a spokesman for the network, told a news conference that the number of bullying cases kept from the public eye is worrying, TV Asahi reported Monday. "Currently, we don't believe there really is any system for properly dealing with these very sensitive cases," he said.

The network of about 60 lawyers will represent bereaved family members as well as relatives of children on the receiving end of bullying and physical punishment at school by either students or teachers.

The network began with one lawyer who represented the family of a boy who killed himself in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, in late 2011, after he was bullied by his classmates. The case gained nationwide media attention.

Along with the expanded coalition of lawyers and parents, over 20 anti-bullying defense consultation service centers have been opened nationwide in an effort to further help improve systems for dealing with cases of bullying, TV Asahi reported.

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"Represent." Represent how exactly? In civil suits against the schools and administrators? I'm curious about the nature of this representation.

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A group of lawyers has established the first ever national anti-bullying defense network in Japan to help represent the families of children who killed themselves due to bullying.

Well then, it's not "anti" is it!

Call it the "After the Fact Network", or "Too Late, But Not too Late to Get some Money Network".

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Call it the "After the Fact Network", or "Too Late, But Not too Late to Get some Money Network".

My thoughts, exactly, Probie. This seems like the traditional Japanese-style posturing but not actually confronting a problem. Do your best and say you're sorry, everything will be ok!

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Does this include the intimidation from the teachers?

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I hope this works. This should also include teachers who either turn a blind eye to what is happening or the teacher is at fault for doing the very same thing 'Bullying' the student themself.

Both should carry a prison sentenance regardless of who did it. The bully should be emmediately remove, forever, from the school or if a teacher, their teaching degree revoked.

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There are many forms of bullying; cyber bullying, school bullying, sports bullying, work bullying..it is just endless to list them all here.

Having said that, it is nice to read it is gaining a social awareness. Yes, Bullying is a crime.

What do we need to do?

1)Implementation of effective policy to every level of society.

2)Enforce and punish offenders according to the CRIMINAL LAW to the fullest without any pre bargain deals.

3)Community, school, work place need to send a strong message "ZERO TOLERENCE TO BULLYING" 24/7.

These offenders are cowards, and they have no compassion and love towards others. They cannot project a pain and suffering they are causing to others. They are criminals. Let's get it going and eradicate this problem completely from society.

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I suppose it would be better to represent the families before the child commits suicide but this is a start. Bullying is like racism, you can't end it easily , if at all. In some respects the victims have to try to stand up to either - sad but true. A network for the kids would probably help. Maybe a website with counselors?

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Bullying is a crime.

No, it's not. There are currently no criminal laws against "bullying," so it isn't a crime. There's also a fine line between "Life's tough, get a hemet," and actual bullying.

Enforce and punish offenders according to the CRIMINAL LAW to the fullest without any pre bargain deals.

Many childhood bullies have very difficult home lives and act out at school, sometimes imitating the behavior they see at home. Simply locking them up and throwing away the key is draconian and will solve absolutely no problems. It's very different in the workplace, but again, it's sometimes hard to distinguish between a competitive, dare I say cut-throat, environment, and bullying. Not always, but sometimes. Also, as I've stated multiple times on other threads of this nature, holding people criminally liable for the actions of others is a hyper dangerous precedent. Suicide, while very tragic, is ultimately a choice. I hate to preach slippery slope, but here I feel I have to.

Community, school, work place need to send a strong message "ZERO TOLERENCE TO BULLYING" 24/7.

Zero-tolerance policies are pathetic non-solutions designed to impress simpletons. Children and young adults who engage in this behavior are also usually victims of forces outside their control. These young individuals need to be treated as someone who can be helped and changed for the better, not as criminals. You want to make a difference? Fight anger with compassion, not with more anger and ignorance. Once you're an adult, maybe criminal prosecution is an option, but not children.

These offenders are cowards, and they have no compassion and love towards others.

Again, probably because they have never been taught these things. If you see your parents arguing and fighting, or even domestic violence, at home what are you supposed to do when you're 12 years old? These children are hardly cowards, and I feel it's offensive to label them as such. It's highly presumptuous to assume you know everything about a person because you see one negative aspect of their personality.

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"The network of about 60 lawyers will represent bereaved family members as well as relatives of children on the receiving end of bullying and physical punishment at school by either students or teachers."

So its not just for dead students, but live ones too.

The lawyers will enable parents to get the school "managers" (loose term) to listen more quickly and more attentively. With the prospect of penalties and public embarrassment looming nearby, blame the victim thinking will start to thaw away in the staff room.

However, besides the stick, a carrot is needed. The schools need to be praised for promoting bullying awareness in their schools. The key lies in getting the students to talk about bullying, to let the students themselves figure out ahead of time what they should do when they see or are subjected to bullying. Especially in Japan where the bullying is usually based on group rather than lone wolf dynamics, it will be an effective strategy. Treat kids with respect and give them responsibility, and they will grow into it.

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a lot parents in the states have been telling their kids to toughen up. I remember I was bullied in school in 3rd grade. this kid picked on me several times and kicked my tail. One day he started again with me, i kicked his behind in that class. everyone in the class cheered me on. the teacher was even like, good job! i even think we had a pizza party if i am not mistaken. But kids back then never thought about killing themselves. I don't know where that came from. Was in japanese anime influenced or something?

but as for that fight, i will never forget that. i didn't do anything to that kid. just minded my own business. problem is now, kids stand up for themselves these days, that can be used against them in a court of law. same with adults. its a dangerous system now.

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@billybegood33 ... One day he started again with me ...

That's the lone wolf type of physical bullying, in my experience the predominant type of male bullying in the US long ago. Most of the bullying I read about know in Japan and in the US seems to be group bullying with a large psychological factor, often with a cyber element too. Fighting back is a lot more complicated. Furthermore, in the case of group physical bullying, fighting back with success might not be physically possible due to the numbers involved.

In my experience female bullying is almost universally group (clique) oriented and psychological, not physical.

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@billybegood33

But kids back then never thought about killing themselves. I don't know where that came from. Was in japanese anime influenced or something?

Look... for your information, I am from Uruguay... nothing to do with Japan, ok? but at the age of 11/12 I remember I used to cry everyday, and then thought "I should be dead...". My only "happy" moment was when I came back home, and then sleep... I never wanted to wake up, all day I was daydreaming because I could be happy in my own world. Now I look back to those times, and I think "I could be dead". When people bully you all the time, when they call you very bad things, even members of your family (mother) laughs at your face or hit you without any reason, classmates do the same, teachers don't do their proper job (take care of their children, not only "teach" from textbooks), nobody protects you, no friends, no adults around you in those moments, only feel loneliness... so what reason do you have to exist? to "live" the life as everybody says.. "Oh yeah, life is awesome!" ... well, let me tell you something, it is NOT awesome when at that short age you suffer as you were in an eternal jail of hate. So before saying something to those who prefer "killing themselves", try to think about what is happening with them, about their lives, what and who surrounds them, etc. Maybe there you may find many sad reasons....

I encourage people to change their minds towards this topic, since it doesn't have frontiers, sadly it is in the human nature to threat the weak and shy... so children needs our help, both the bullies and those who suffer bullying attacks. (sorry for my bad English if you've noticed mistakes, as you may know my mother tongue is Spanish)

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