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Over 100 students knew girl was bullied before she stepped in front of bullet train

41 Comments

More than 100 students at a school in Tendo, Yamagata Prefecture, said in a questionnaire that they were aware that a 12-year-old girl who was killed after she walked onto the tracks and was hit by a bullet train, was being bullied.

The girl, who killed herself on Jan 7, left a note in which she hinted she had been bullied at school. The local board of education said the girl's father had found the note and asked the school to survey the students at the school on whether they had seen his daughter being bullied. The contents of the note have not been made public.

TBS reported Tuesday that the school sent a questionnaire on bullying to 532 students. Of those, more than 100 said they were aware of the girl's troubles, while 13 said they had actually seen her being bullied.

The board also questioned teachers but none said they were aware that the girl was being bullied.

The incident occurred at around 8 a.m. as the Tsubasa No. 128 was heading for Tokyo. The girl climbed over a fence to get onto the tracks. Police said the girl left home at around 7 a.m. to attend the first day of school after the holidays.

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41 Comments
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Why not using cameras in schools ? That would help to see bullying , and in that way , preventing it .

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

So 100 kids knew she was abused and not a single member of staff knew? Sounds like the school staff has received some sound legal advice in advance of filling out the survey...

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Over 100 students knew girl was bullied before she stepped in front of bullet train

And did nothing? Didn't think to do anything? Wanted to something but...?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The only thing necessary for evil to prevail is for good people to stand by and do nothing.

Why not using cameras in schools ? That would help to see bullying , and in that way , preventing it .

That doesn't really get to the root of the problem. It just masks it.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

That doesn't really get to the root of the problem. It just masks it

It only masks it if the school does nothing to stop it.

It will finally take an important child of a wealthy family to kill themself then maybe just maybe the government will take notice.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Very tragic I find it pathetic that so many people (probably more than answered 'yes' in this questionnaire) are aware of problems yet not one person has the decency to speak up and help their peers. These kids will grow up to become even more cowering adults, turning a blind eye to everything uncomfortable. Japan's idea of harmony really is flawed. Nothing but a coloful façade.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

We are talking about elementary school children. At that age, they are not clever enough to be able to hide bullying. They aren't usually doing subtle things. If the staff claim they didn't know what was happening, yet over 100 students said they did, the staff are obviously lying. They knew what was going on but didn't care enough to help the student in question.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

12 year is not elementary,

@Nenad that would help if the school board would care.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Dennis

12 year is not elementary

It is in Japan, typically.

@Bear

maybe just maybe the government will take notice

I'm not sure what the government can/should do here. There needs to be better education about bullying, and there needs to be better support for bullied kids. It comes down to the parents to better educate their kids not to be bullies.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Teacher, parent , student and Japanese delete your ' too much がまん and しょうがない " culture, might help better flow of expression. Quote you an example : I was told by parents and students that it is so cold commuting to and fro home and school during winter. High and junior school'students are not allowed to wear outer winter clothing. Think of the long term health effect ....really sad....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Children should be taught to anonymously inform a teacher or the school about who is being bullied and who the bulliers are.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Obviously education on the matter is not working.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

12 year is not elementary,

If you are 12 years old in January there is a much bigger chance that you are a 6th grade student in elementary school than a 1st grade student in junior high school. Either way, at that age, the type of bullying that goes on is pretty overt stuff that is easy to recognize by those who actually pay attention to and care about their students.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This is why my son attends an International School - bullying is not addressed in the public system here so sadly cases like this will continue.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This is why my son attends an International School - bullying is not addressed in the public system here so sadly cases like this will continue.

Not too many parents are raking in the dough like you sorry to say.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Most of the comments on this article go in the sense that the education system / teachers should do something about it. I believe the teachers react when they see something during class.

Bullying is not a Japanese society problem, it has always existed, everywhere around the globe. It is very sad indeed, but I do not think it's the job of the teachers to act as guards during break times and on the way back home from school.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

One of the major problems is that unlike where I went to school, the kids in Japan stay in class while the teachers change rooms between classes. This means that there are a few minutes between every class where the kids are unsupervised. And they stay in the same desk all day, surrounded by the same people. So if the person beside you is bullying you, you are stuck with them all day long beside you, with 30+ minutes unsupervised.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Something went terribly wrong...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's really sad, that people turn a blind eye to this type of behavior! I used to teach English in ES and JHS in Japan, and I had my fair share of students fighting with the JTE's doing nothing!! I think it's time to educate the schools and make them accountable. Maybe they should have councilers at the schools to help deal with this growing problem. Oh. That's right. It's not in the budget!! I' m at a loss!! My prayers go out to the family.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I can recall one instance of bullying when I was in elementary school - a rather skinny weak kid was being pushed around by a bigger kid on the playing field. I jumped the bully, wrapped my arm around his neck and squeezed until he started turning blue and a teacher pulled me off and sent me to the principal's office for a good old strapping on both hands. The skinny weak kid became a lifelong friend, and has been my family doctor ever since he started his practice. There were a few other instances, but I won't bother with those stories. The 100 kids at the school that knew the poor girl was being bullied are, unfortunately, cowards. When you don't take a stand, awful things will keep happening.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

If 100 admitted knowing she was bullied then how many did not admit it? Truly terrible!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I was an ALT at a Japanese high school and I knew exactly who was being bullied. And when I tried to talk to the other staff members (on many different equations) I was just brushed off-the kids would be fine, it was making them stronger, it wasn't that bad...and blah, blah, blah

1 ( +1 / -0 )

the age of bullying is starting to decline rapidly. she was only 12.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You have to wonder how long the bullying problem will take to resolve. One generation?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sadly, gelendestrasse, longer than that. There's a reason the statues of justice have blinders on.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bullying has been around for ever. I grew up being bullied. You can not take bullying away. You can only education people on how to deal with it. Most of the rich people today were bullied when they were young. We need to teach kids to stand up and be strong. I took it and now own my own company. To all you bullies, beware of karma.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What a dreadfully sad case. Twelve years old, all those people knew, and no-one said anything?

I jumped the bully, wrapped my arm around his neck and squeezed until he started turning blue and a teacher pulled me off and sent me to the principal's office for a good old strapping on both hands. The skinny weak kid became a lifelong friend, and has been my family doctor ever since he started his practice.

Good for you, Trevor! I wish there were more people like you around.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There are a lot of assumptions being made by posters regarding whether or not any of the kids who knew the girl was being bullied did anything. The story only says that 100 kids said they knew she was being bullied. It doesn't say they did nothing. You have no idea if any of them tried, in their own way, to let an adult know, to comfort the girl or to try and intervene. Just because the girl committed suicide does not mean everyone sat by and did nothing.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

sad but bullying is not only in schools, they just call it something else like harassment or discrimination. such is life and you learn how to deal with it... or not....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@ambrosia

well the japanese people are "backwards" (using your exact words), so mostly likely the students did nothing to help. but for the sake of argument, even if, say, twenty students helped, which would be quite a lot, that would still leave an overwhelming majority of students who looked the other way. but the students are only half the problem. it's the teachers who should also have stepped in to help this girl. it's beyond a shadow of a doubt that if 100 students knew about it then many of the teachers knew about it, too. and if there is karma in lifem, then i hope those teachers get it in spades.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese culture... Japanese society! "If a nail sticks out, it gets hammered down" She just saw what was coming down the road and just decided to end it before it begun. "Put cameras at the school to prevent it" someone wrote... For what? More control of what they do? How about teach them to think and that it matters if you do? Teach them to speak and explore their minds. Teach them that feelings are okay. Teach them go after what they love. Show them how creative they can be. Show them that everybody is different and that's the way they'd supposed to be! Just trust your heart, be yourself... love!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If only bullied kids had Carrie-like super powers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@DaDude

No, not racking it in....just planned and saved for my son's future

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No, not racking it in....just planned and saved for my son's future

Good for you. And all you others, stop having kids that you can't afford.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I was bullied at school. Horrible, horrible 4 years of my life. Only got better when the knuckle dragging bullies dropped out at 16, too thick to pass their exams. I can totally empathise with the poor girl.

Can they stamp out bullying in Japanese schools? If they want to, yes. Teachers need to watch and pay attention, spot for signs like bruises, messed up hair, things like that. If the children won't report it, then the teachers have to be pro-active. It took for me to get a beating before the teachers did something in my case - of course they have no control outside of the school.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

rickyvee: well the japanese people are "backwards" (using your exact words), so mostly likely the students did nothing to help.

Oh dear, someone has an axe to grind. If you're going to pull things out of context, at least get what I said correct. "Sorry, but I've no idea how your comment is meant to dispel the notion that this contest is racist, a word you brought up, by the way. I'd be happy to just go with stupid and backward." That's exactly what I said in reference to a singing contest, which has nothing to do with this story. I never said "Japanese people are backward". I said a contest and an attitude are. If you'd like I can point out many instances of where people in my own country can be backward in certain things.

but for the sake of argument, even if, say, twenty students helped, which would be quite a lot, that would still leave an overwhelming majority of students who looked the other way. but the students are only half the problem.

Yes, it would be but I dare say it would probably be the same in most any other country. Anyone suggesting that bullying is unique to Japan is either oblivious to aspects of their own culture or remembering their childhood with rose-colored glasses. There is a reason movies like Mean Girls, Precious, Bully, Pay It Forward and Billy Elliot got made in America and England and it's not because we're so much better or always step up and do the right thing, especially not as 12-year old children. Have a look at YouTube for kids fighting and you'll seen plenty of disturbing scenes of kids beating the stuffing out of each other while groups of kids, and sadly, sometimes adults, stand by and cheer them on. Have a read of stories in the news about kids who killed themselves due to online bullying. How many kids stepped up in those cases? The big difference is that it's finally being addressed on a larger scale now in the States.

it's the teachers who should also have stepped in to help this girl. it's beyond a shadow of a doubt that if 100 students knew about it then many of the teachers knew about it, too. and if there is karma in lifem, then i hope those teachers get it in spades

On this we can completely agree.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

People this is why Japan is considered so "SAFE" a safe place to live where people don't see anything, hear anything, or tell anything!! People mind what they consider their own business but this kind of non-sense is everyone's business! I love for my son to get bullied I would retaliate against all of these bullying kids parents, while their bullying kids watch!! This is ridiculous what has and continue to happen how many QUESTIONAIRES does it take to stop!! Everyone who said they knew about the bullying is just as guilty.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ambrosia

i definitely have no axe to grind. just want to point out your hypocrisy regarding japanese people. if a somewhat popular singing contest is "backward", then doesn't that imply that the people watching are, too? so how can you expect a "backward" group of people to show sympathy/empathy toward a girl that is being bullied? i just think you need to chose your words more carefully.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

rickyvee: just want to point out your hypocrisy regarding japanese people. if a somewhat popular singing contest is "backward", then doesn't that imply that the people watching are, too? so how can you expect a "backward" group of people to show sympathy/empathy toward a girl that is being bullied? i just think you need to chose your words more carefully.

Sorry, but you're the one being a hypocrite and rather ridiculous. The singing contest is backward. I will absolutely stand by that opinion. That aspect of Japanese culture, in so far as there are great numbers of people who want that kind of entertainment is backward. I stand by that opinion. What I will not stand by is the sweeping generalization that you are attempting to pin on me. Just because certain aspects of a culture may be backward hardly means the culture as a whole is backward or that school children are incapable of showing sympathy to each other - as if the two were mutually exclusive anyway. Every single culture in this world has both highly enlightened and very backward aspects. Are you really that eager to pigeonhole people and to paint everything and everyone in black and white? What an utterly sad and dull world you must live in. I'd like to be magnanimous, give you the benefit of the doubt and say you're just trying it on to stir the pot a little but your insistence on pursuing an issue where there is none is making me doubt my generosity.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

you're the one being a hypocrite and rather ridiculous. The singing contest is backward. I will absolutely stand by that opinion. That aspect of Japanese culture, in so far as there are great numbers of people who want that kind of entertainment is backward. I stand by that opinion.

Well, taking your opinion and claiming that the whole contest is backward just because you don't like it is rather ridiculous. I don't like it either, but there are plenty of things that I like, and I'm sure plenty of things that you like, that other people wouldn't. Should you be called backwards because they don't share the same opinion as you?

Ridiculous.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Strangerland: I'm totally fine with you disagreeing. At least you've not taken my words out of context. As for whether or not I'd care if other people called me backwards, no, not so much. People are perfectly entitled to their opinions. I'm sure I am a bit backwards in some respects, as are most all of us. We can't all be bodihsattvas, which would probably be kind of boring anyway.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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