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Parents of bullied student file damages suit in Gifu

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The parents of a second year middle school student in Kani City, Gifu Prefecture, filed a damages suit against a school on Wednesday, claiming that their son had been punched and bullied by a fellow student and that teachers had taken no action.

The principal of the public school issued a statement apologizing for the latest incident, saying: "We really have to think about how to stop this kind of behavior from happening again."

According to the school, the 13-year-old victim was punched in the abdomen and chest five to 10 times by a fellow classmate on July 12 during the period between classes, sustaining mild injuries.

The parents of the boy claimed he had been the target of abuse from other students before. They received an apologetic visit from school staff on Tuesday night, but decided to file a damages suit on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, it has also come to light that at the same school, a female student was said to have been forced to take her clothing off and be photographed by other students in June.

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Wow, how surprised am I...wow! How rare of this sort of thing to take place in j-junior high schools...amazing!

ps, get the sacarsm?

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Time to take action. Why not start a "club" for a martial arts class. You can't change a bullies' mentality by expecting a teacher to 'fix it', and they are not present all the time. But you can learn how to defend yourself. One good throw down might cure a bully, but good!

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Just the result of zero control and/or discipline in the public school system. The teachers have no course of action in controling misbehaved kids, nor do they have no skills in managing unruly students. When I was at school the teachers used the cane, which was as much of a deterant as it was a statis symbol. Nowdays the teachers use detention, which is effective. Teenagers hate giving up their free time, but in Japan, detention means isolation, which is not effective at all. Then, there is the head shaving for boys used as punishment, which could be considered a form of abuse or asault by humiliation. events like this will continue until the 'monster parents' are ordered to but-out of schools and the schools start strictly denying these unruly kids the right to participate in school sports clubs and put them on detention for lunch times and after school. Under the present disciplinary system in all schools, public and private, they are using bullying and intimidation to stop the students doing the same thing. It doesn't make sense, does it?

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Sorry mates, but this isn't the school's fault. This could have happened in someone's home when the parent stepped out for a second. There are only so many teachers and they need to move between home rooms, so logically at least one home room will need to be unattended at any given time, regardless of how efficiently they do it. The bully should be punished, not the teachers, unless they can show that the teachers ignored complaints from the bullied student. And I'm betting that the bullied student did nothing to help himself by speaking to a teacher. If they victim won't speak up then the teachers can't be divinely inspired.

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All it would take to get schools to institute more aggressive measures to prevent bullying is for the court in this case to make an example out of the school by hitting it really hard with damages. Schools would then fall into line and take action out of fear of the financial consequences. Serious public embarrassment and stiff financial penalties are the only measures proven effective to alter Japanese behavior.

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tell me about it, at a highschool I teach at once a week, I asked the head teacher what kind of discipline I could carry out on a student because he didnt respect either myself or the japanese teacher.......the head teacher laughed at me saying that most of the students dont respect the teachers here and he walked away.......

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Frungy, I agree that to the extent 'kids will be kids,' but still think litigation is the way to go. Obviously there is some culpability on the school's part; they did apologize by the way. One reason bullying is so prevalent here in Japan compared to other countries is because schools do little, if anything, to curb it and parents of victims do not take legal action against schools or the bullies' families. How often to kids get expelled for violent behavior? Rarely if ever. And I believe complaints often go ignored by school officials who really are not judged on competence. Once someone becomes the principal, they will likely reign until they see fit to retire, regardless of how incompetent he/she is. Litigation needs to increase ten-fold in this country to really get schools (and companies, city police departments, etc.) in line.

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It's good to see the parents did something.

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three cheers for the parents for standing up

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Finally! way to go parents. @frungy, uve never worked at school in Japan have you? I see it all day everyday, and i am the one controlling verbal and physical abuse not the Japanese teacher! Their philosophy is, let the kids solve their own problems. And that is dead wrong!

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Many teachers in Japan do not EARN the respect of their students, therefore action taken by those teachers will fall on deaf ears.

However, there is often no discipline in the schools. One reason is for fear the parents of that child will become angry.

I think schools should have something like a "contract" of behavior. This should define what is and is not acceptable, as well as punishments for offenders. The contracts should be signed by both parents and students. The rules and punishments should be enforced. If the parents or students don't like it, they should go to another school.

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While a child is on school property he is in the hands of the school, whatever happens to him, is the teachers/principals responsibility...you don't just send your child off to school and believe that if anything happens to the children it is on the parents...parents are not in the school to watch over their children, if it happens off school premises then I could understand the need to press charges against the parents only and not the school, I think they are doing the right thing, if someone doesn't stand up and take action other children will just keep getting away with bullying, and we all have read and seen what can happen when situations are nor handled while there is still a chance to take charge of the situation..

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When I was at school the teachers used the cane, which was as much of a deterant as it was a statis symbol

Glad I did not go to school with you. I do not want vigil ante Japanese teachers beating my kid with nobody to answer to for it.

This is between parents and kids. I tell my kid all the time, if ANYTHING strange happens, the only way to handle it is to tell me. He tells me everything from being poked with a pencil to being told he smells.. Nothing major yet but he is now trained to tell em everything.

Some parents here igore their kids or don't give a crap. THAT is the root of the problem.

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Last time the teacher phoned me and told that my son had a fight with another student in school and he need to be disciplined. When my son arrived i saw he was severly beaten with lots of rashes in his face, and he told me that it was a class 6 std. 2 years bigger then my son. My temper went high and i thrash both the teacher and that guy parents.

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While a child is on school property he is in the hands of the school, whatever happens to him, is the teachers/principals responsibility

This is my problem, right here. Yes, the school is partially responsible, but there's plenty of blame to go around, like:

Lack of communication between parents and children The homes that create these bullies Making teachers responsible for discipline without any actual power to administer discipline.

Number 3 is the big one. As far as the law stands a teacher is just another citizen. Timmy is smacking Johnny and the teacher tells Timmy to stop it. Timmy pauses to give the teacher the finger and carries on. The teacher steps over and physically restrains Timmy... and 2 weeks later the teacher is in court for "physically assaulting" Timmy.

Either give teachers tazers and the right to use them, because discipline is impossible without at least the potential to enforce it. I'm not saying students should be tazed, but basically at the moment all the teachers have is the ability to shout, and 40 voices shout louder than 1.

And don't blame teachers for not having the respect of their students, that simply doesn't fly. There are tons of kids who don't give their parents an ounce of respect, so why should their teachers be any different?

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Sorry mates, but this isn't the school's fault. This could have happened in someone's home when the parent stepped out for a second. There are only so many teachers and they need to move between home rooms, so logically at least one home room will need to be unattended at any given time, regardless of how efficiently they do it. The bully should be punished, not the teachers, unless they can show that the teachers ignored complaints from the bullied student. And I'm betting that the bullied student did nothing to help himself by speaking to a teacher. If they victim won't speak up then the teachers can't be divinely inspired.

You obviously do NOT live in Japan or know anything how the school system works here. I worked as an ALT a few years back in Shizuoka and I was assualted, threatened, my lunch got spit on by students and my bicycle vandalized....made complaints to the school about it, and was told to keep my mouth shut and take it or lose my job. If students were being assualted by another student I was ordered NOT to be involved in anyway and tell a Japanese teacher. Teachers just ignore fights and bullying here and look the other way. Assualt and bullying is TOLERATED in schools throughout Japan!! Japan is not a western country.

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I think schools should have something like a "contract" of behavior. This should define what is and is not acceptable, as well as punishments for offenders. The contracts should be signed by both parents and students. The rules and punishments should be enforced. If the parents or students don't like it, they should go to another school.

Contracts?? Are you serious?? This is Japan and contracts are broken all the time without penalty here. Just have a look at the consumer protection laws when students sign contracts with eikaiwa...eikaiwa didnt keep their end of the deal in the contract and left the consumer/student holding the bag. No school is going punish any bad behavior....as the principle at the school I worked at told me, "all students have a right to an education, no matter what they do".

Go to another school?? High school is not free in Japan and students parents have to pay a bundle to enroll them and buy them expensive uniforms and not to mention the complete hassle involved. Alot of these students attend such and such high school to get accepted to a good university, thats the whole point of high school in Japan. Graduating H.S. is not required in Japan.

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@prizjay- dont think I could make it as an ALT in that situation. More over the not being albe to save a kid from getting trashed by a bully. Sounds like you are not even allowed to break up a fight. WOW...

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Somebody needs to post some of those incidents on youtube. That would put a fire under their butts to do something.

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Frungy: I don't know exactly how the legal system works here, but in Canada and the U.S., legally the teacher does act exactly as a parent. So societally, sure it can be the parents fault, but legally, you're holding the bag. That's why most teachers I know back home are keen observers and great practitioners of covering their (legal) ass. Your #3 point is the same. Teachers aren't allowed to touch students forcefully, or you're done professionally.

What do you do then? I think the breakdown happens when parents are not involved in their children's lives at school. They wash their hands of it, and when their kid gets into trouble, it's everybody else's fault. Get the parents involved, and maybe you'll have more understanding. And in the case of "monster parents", get them to "volunteer" on school trips. That'll teach 'em. :)

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@

prizjay- dont think I could make it as an ALT in that situation. More over the not being albe to save a kid from getting trashed by a bully. Sounds like you are not even allowed to break up a fight. WOW...

I was told by the school and the dispatch agency that if I intefer with an assualt and break it up and put my hands on a student...I would be fired on the spot and evicted from my apartment within 3 days and the school would bring criminal charges against me for "handling a student". They made sure it was real clear that I NEVER touched a student...ever under any circumstances. Sorry, for you people living in the wetsern world who find it impossible to believe...but this is Japan and this how they do it here.

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Frungy, I agree children should be taught to respect the teachers from day one of school, but we know as children grow with age and make friends and want to become their own person, alot of times parents try to be good parents and the children just don't listen it is not always the parents fault, it is enviromental, their surroundings as well..I could say this about a 4 yr old who throws a fit in a store and screams at his mom, which I would not tolerate and you can handle this sort of situation alot easier, but when they become teens they are not always so easy to handle I have 3 teenagers, 18, 16 and 14, of which..knocks on wood, so far no troubles like the ones mentioned here...but, I would not just sit with my arm crossed knowing something like this is going on at school...I just can't see how it is not the responsibility of the school...so what ppl here are saying, since kindergarten we send our kids off into the world with no one but the parents to look out for their well being? So then we could just take our children drop them off at the park early am, pick them up at 3, 4 pm and hope they will be ok? Without supervision...school's should be more involved in these issues, students who bully should be penilized in a way that they would think twice about doing it again, how many kids don't get the oppertunity to go home and tell their parents? By the time the parents find out the child has been stabbed andf in critical conditions,or worse killed...

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prinzjay: No, that's how SOME schools deal (or don't deal) with the actual problem at hand. Sweep it under the rug, nothing to see here. Plus, the added fact that you're the gaijin, you would bring unwanted attention to the real problem. Hence, send away the messenger. I sympathize with your situation, but I doubt you can affect much change as an ALT.

Systemic change is needed. Monbukagakusho, you listening? Ijime, kids knifing others, drowning others, dumping bodies, need I go on?

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prinzjay

I was told by the school and the dispatch agency that if I intefer with an assualt and break it up and put my hands on a student...I would be fired on the spot and evicted from my apartment within 3 days and the school would bring criminal charges against me for "handling a student".

You just bitched and complained about teachers doing nothing, then you follow-up by pointing out that if you did anything you'd be fired. Did you never pause to think it was EXACTLY THE SAME for Japanese teachers. They're not ignoring it because they approve, they're ignoring it because there's nothing they can do.

VelvetRosetta

Without supervision...school's should be more involved in these issues, students who bully should be penilized in a way that they would think twice about doing it again, how many kids don't get the oppertunity to go home and tell their parents?

You're quick to talk about penalties for bullying kids, but have you actually DONE anything to empower your school's teachers? At the moment teachers are pretty much powerless. They can't touch the kids or they'll be fired. They can yell, but 40 kids can yell louder than any single human being. They can look disapproving and get laughed at. They can give them detention... and then the kids don't pitch up.

At home you've got a lot less options and only 3 kids to take care of. Teachers have no options, no authority and about 40 kids to take care of. Then they get blamed when something goes wrong and people point all the fingers at the school and teacher.

That's just not fair. Parents are quick to bitch under these circumstances, but slow to actually approach the PTA and say, "We need to do something to ensure that teachers are empowered to actually discipline the students". Go to your PTA, organise that and then maybe you'll have a leg to stand on.

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Hmm.. I'm an ALT and have had no problems disciplining students.

Sure it makes the teachers feel uncomfortable and the students are surprised by it, but let's face it, it earns respect.

Whenever I come across what appears to be bullying (most of the times it's just kids joking around), I'll get between the kid being hit and the hitter and say something like "NO IJIME" and pretend to punch the "bully" in the stomach. I do this sarcastically, but it works. Never had a problem so far.

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Meanwhile, it has also come to light that at the same school, a female student was said to have been forced to take her clothing off and be photographed by other students in June.

Was a sukebe male teacher supervising this?

I have had very little problems with my kids in Japanese schools. , and as far as that ALT allowing students to spit in his food...all I can say is you are a fail and should go back home to your pretty little suburban neighborhood.

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Discipline, not liberal over sensitivity about contracts and communication.

In school follow the rules. If the rules are broken punish the people involved. Now, in this case, the parents do have a claim against the school because the incident happened on school property and no one acted on it. Yet, lots of stuff goes unnoticed at school and kids are very aware of what they can get away with. I'm sure we've all had to deal with bullies and far worse issues than this in schools back in our own countries. I'm sure we've all gotten away with a lot, too. Would I want my parents to be involved with my life at school? No way. Parents always assume the worst and blame teachers outright.

With that said: Teachers have to point out and tell their bosses about any odd behavior they witness. Someone dropped the ball here and it will be hard to pin it solely on the school or board of education.

Being at school is about survival, too. We have to make our way through the micro-society and make sure we adjust socially till we can finally escape our hometowns. It's sad that the parents now are going to put this kid in deeper by calling more attention to this. Why? Well, the kid can't fight back, probably doesn't have many friends to help him, probably couldn't talk to the teachers about it, and obviously the teachers couldn't do anything about the bullying anyway. Guess he'll being attending night-school in another district.

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When my brothers son was little, he had real issues with concentration. He couldn't pay attention to anything for very long. People were talking about ADD, and drugging him, which bothered my brother greatly. So rather then subjecting him to mind-bending chemicals, he enrolled him in a martial arts program, to help him learn focus and concentration. It worked, extremely well. It taught him self confidence and self reliance, and strangely enough, after beating the crap out of several bullies a few years older then him, everyone learned to leave him alone. However this wasn't good enough for him. He's a good kid, and it bothered him whenever he saw someone being bullied. And the various bullies soon found themselves facing a bit of hurt if they persisted in their behavior. His school didn't really have a problem with bullies afterwards.

Not saying violence is the answer, but having your child be able to defend themselves at least a little, does wonders.

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Of course teaching self defense to the kids (and apparently a few teachers) is vital, but does defense have to mean violence, or even physical? When you use violence to deter a bully are you not teaching that violence is acceptable as the solution to violence? What a quandary. If, in deed, we are the parents and teachers wouldn't we be offering techniques a bit more civilized than Ultraman wrestling or sword fights? Grow up time, folks. Bullying exists because one party, the bullied, is acceptant of the bargain offered by the other party, the bully. It is a negotiation, and a transaction. But if the party of the first part, the bullied, refuses to engage in the contract, the party of the second part, the bully, is left without a deal and no transaction can proceed. Turn your back and walk away, if he hits you, sue. Or simply go around telling everybody what he did until his reputation sticks as a jerk. Nobody likes a jerk. At any rate, it will be his disgrace, not your's.

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What did the parents do? Did they contact the parents of the bully or expect the school to do it? Did they go to the school and meet with the teachers and the parents of the bully and the bully himself? From my experience, the parents do nothing as they think it is the teachers' job.

Parents have stripped teachers from being able to give any punishments and then turn around and blame the teachers when they can't step in and solve issues. Monster parents have made a mockery of the school system here.

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Frugy, it seems you are in touch with Japan. You can tell those who do not understand the school system by using words such as "In my country, in America, not in a western country." Like you said, "3. Making teachers responsible for discipline without any actual power to administer discipline." This is the great problem that I see facing the Japanese education system.

In Japan, as anyone in the Japanese school system knows, the schools must allow students to attend school through the 9th grade. It is a right which cannot be taken away even due to disciplinary actions.

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Sorry mates, but this isn't the school's fault.

I disagree. While any kids can gang up and punch another kid, it's what the school does afterwards that can inhibit further incidents. If kids were routinely expelled, or a the very least suspended for things like this, then they wouldn't happen. But schools, all the way from the BOE down to the newest teachers don't have the spine for this.

It seems that the only people in Japan who are any good at direct confrontation are the junior high school students.

I GUARANTEE you if Japan adopted a nationwide "zero tolerance" for bullying, meaning first offense is suspension, second offense is expulsion, then things like this wouldn't happen.

Let's these punks mooch of their parents their whole lives and get a job at the conbini during graveyard shift if they are lucky.

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I GUARANTEE you if Japan adopted a nationwide "zero tolerance" for bullying, meaning first offense is suspension, second offense is expulsion, then things like this wouldn't happen.

It's illegal to expel a child from a public school, or even to remove him from classes. Something to do with the right to compulsory education.

Let's these punks mooch of their parents their whole lives and get a job at the conbini during graveyard shift if they are lucky.

Take a bunch of violent kids, cut them off from any chance of a decent income - and wait for them to start mugging little old ladies to make up the shortfall. Yes, I can see how that would be a benefit to society.....not

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I am senior high alt in Gifu and probably know the guy that works in that school, i am shocked and saddened that while the principal says they must do something to stop this kind of behavior, because this is Japan, nothing can be done, not like you can expel the kid or send them to juvi.

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Frungy and Cleo are right.

The rest of you know nothing about the education laws in Japan. Teachers are LEGALLY powerless.

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Japan needs to start addressing the widespread problem of bullying. Enact laws to get tough on these little thugs - and education should be seen as a privilege not a right - violent children should be locked out of classrooms.

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Thanks for the support diveit, cleo and sourpuss.

Those looking for government to enact new laws are barking up the wrong tree. It would take ages and with a twisted parliament the chances of anything sensible happening in the near future are zero, as any new legislation would be so mangled by competing agendas it would just make the situation worse, not better.

As I mentioned before, the solution is horrifically simple. Parents need to stop bullying schools and blaming everything on the school and admit that it's a PARTNERSHIP. The PTA needs to meet with the parents and teachers and agree that any school disciplinary action will be supported by the parents.

What's happening now is that little Timmy is viewed as an angel by his parents and so when teachers try to reprimand Timmy they end up with the parents in the school chewing out the teachers and demanding they stop "harassing" their darling, instead of revoking Timmy's TV rights, allowance and other privileges at home until he realises that bullying will make his life a living hell at school AND home.

And wake up and smell the coffee people. This problem isn't unique to Japan, it's endemic to the global education. Visit an inner-city London school or one in downtown Brooklyn and you'll find much worse situations, with kids trying to knife each other and teachers diving for cover. The problem is the same the world over, teachers are given the job of disciplining students and no power to do so.

The root of the problem is a flawed educational model that assumes that a sufficient quantity of kindness to and respect for the students can solve any discipline problem. Yeah, right. Even the nicest parents with the best kids need to crack the whip sometimes and ground kids, take away their privileges, revoke their TV rights, etc. I'm not a big fan of hitting kids, but kids aren't stupid and they realise the option is there with their parents, and they'll be over their parents' knee getting the hiding of their life if they try. ... In some schools they've unfortunately woken up to the fact that the teacher DOESN'T have this option. It won't be long before these kids are bullying their teachers too, and then it's the swift down-hill slope for education in Japan.

On the other hand if parents agree right NOW to unconditionally support any action the teachers take then it won't get there, because the students will realise that if they cross a teacher they'll be getting no support from home.

No special legislation required.

Oh, and on this specific case, even if the teacher had been standing right there there's nothing they could have done but yell for them to stop it. These kids planned this, they waited for the teacher to be out of the room and then maliciously took advantage of the unsupervised time to beat this other kid. Even if teachers were there between classes these kids would have waited for lunchtime and dragged him into the locker room, or waited until after school and kicked the hell out of him on the way home. The problem here isn't the teachers, it's the students who did this, but no-one seems to be suing those little psychos, instead they're blaming teachers who they've made powerless to stop this kind of abuse. That's so unfair it's simply not funny.

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Here's my take on this. The lawsuit stemmed from the apparent fact that the school did nothing to prevent/stop the bullying of a student. There are people here who say that there are schools whose policy is to do nothing when bullying is observed. This doesn't sound like a civil lawsuit issue so much as it sounds like a criminal neglect issue.

As the adults, it is the teachers and staff's responsibility to ensure the safety of the students FIRST and their education SECOND. Any school that ignores their first responsibility and concentrates only on the second responsibility is guilty of negligence. I work in a public school system and if I see a student getting assaulted, I WILL intervene. To do any less makes a mockery of my position in the education system.

Perhaps the reason the teachers in Japan are not respected is because the students know the teachers would NOT protect them. You can't respect someone you can't trust, and you can't trust someone you know would just stand by and watch as you get pounded.

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Frungy:

I was agreeing with you right until you advocated corporal punishment. Co-opt and get the parents to support teachers, yes, but violence begets violence. And don't forget discipline is just a treatment, and not a solution for the cause. These troubled kids have various reasons for their behaviour - attention, neglect, abuse, etc.

I agree that teachers don't need more blame. If they knew about it and hid it, fine, the school / teachers are at fault. But otherwise, if there's premeditation as you say, it's the students' fault, and borderline criminal.

I know most of the people's opinions here about the police (ie. bad), but what about a community liason officer posted in the schools?

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I was agreeing with you right until you advocated corporal punishment. Co-opt and get the parents to support teachers, yes, but violence begets violence.

Me too. I've argued many, many times on JT that corporal punishment is no answer.

As for letting the teachers inflict corporal punishment - this too is illegal in Japanese schools, and the few times I've come across it the teacher in question was invariably a Class A jerk. I would not send any child of mine to a school where that kind of teacher had carte blanche to hit my kids.

what about a community liason officer posted in the schools?

The police in most prefectures are badly understaffed. I very much doubt many forces could afford to place one officer in every school.

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Shinohara

I was agreeing with you right until you advocated corporal punishment. Co-opt and get the parents to support teachers, yes, but violence begets violence. And don't forget discipline is just a treatment, and not a solution for the cause.

Just to clarify, I wasn't advocating corporal punishment. I was pointing out that once the students realise that teacher's can't intervene they'll realise the reason why, that teachers (unlike their parents) can't actually raise a hand to them, because they'll be fired if they do, and next it'll be the teachers being bullied, hit, having stuff thrown at them etc. I've seen it happen in central London schools and have talked to professionals it's happened to in the U.S.A. and it's always the same tactic, the moment the teacher looks like they're going to defend themselves the student (and sometimes their buddies too) swear blind they'll report that the teacher initiated the violence, and the teacher simply can't take the risk.

The solution is to give teachers the ability to hand out meaningful punishments that are backed up in collaboration with the parents so the kid can't just go home and get a sympathetic ear and told the teacher is obviously being unfair. The authority figures in the child's life need to all be on the same page or it sends mixed messages that they'll exploit to do as they like. If the students get the message that teachers have authority and can make their punishments stick then it'll never get to the physical confrontation stage. If you nip the problem in the bud then it never blossoms.

These troubled kids have various reasons for their behaviour - attention, neglect, abuse, etc.

Sorry shinohara, but I see excuses like these all too often. Yes, these kids need counseling just as much as the victim, but too many people these days use these sort of exuses, "I was hit as a child", "My mommy didn't love me enough", etc. My entire generation grew up with corporal punishment and sometimes it was unfair and the teachers were a bit too free with their canes, but you won't find me beating up someone else and claiming, "It's because I was beaten as a child". Focus on what they did, not their excuses, because fundamentally they made a CHOICE and it's that choice that needs to be examined. Why they felt free to make that choice when everyone around them resisted the urge.

The same school of thought that believes that kindness and love can solve anything also buys into those excuses, but I don't. I believe that we're all responsible for our choices and we need to be held accountable. Sometimes there are extenuating circumstances, like self-defence or the defense of others, but having a rough day or a even a rough life just doesn't cut it with me. I've had it rough, I'd bet rougher than any of these kids, and I'm still in control of my actions, so if I can do it so can they. They need to face up to what they did, realise that their past doesn't dictate their actions and that they are in complete control of themselves (unless they have a legitimate psychosis in which case they need to be institutionalised) and they are responsible for their actions and the consequences.

The only real discipline is self-discipline, but teachers and parents can help students to develop self-discipline by sending a clear and consistent message and by making it clear that lack of self-discipline has real consequences.

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We can't really do anything about the parents or the student's home-life unless they show up at school with signs of abuse. We CAN set the environment in the school and let students know certain behavior is unacceptable and will result in negative consequences for them. The difficulty in Japan (based on what I'm reading here) is that not enough faculty would buy into such an environment for it to work properly. There's too much "shoganai!" and not enough "dame!"

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there is bullying in every country. if it doesn't happen inside school gates it'll happen elsewhere. can't put the responsibility on schools to stop it and schools CANT stop it, wake up.

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My experience in Osaka junior high schools showed me that the teachers return to a central faculty room at the end of each period. The teachers moved from room to room. The halls and classrooms did not have supervision between classes. I believe that the teachers need to be assigned a room for the day and take ownership of it. This means interesting wall decorations and examples of student work. This is the system used in the United States, which does not make it right, but decreases the possibility of bullying.

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there is bullying in every country. if it doesn't happen inside school gates it'll happen elsewhere. can't put the responsibility on schools to stop it and schools CANT stop it, wake up.

Oh I'm WIDE awake "proudnippon". "We can't stop it outside of our premises so why bother stopping it on our premises?" That's exactly the kind of "Not my problem" attitude that's causing this in the first place. Bullies RELY on non-intervention in order to successfully oppress their victims. proudnippon is proud of his/her cowardice, I guess.

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Sad story! i wish i was in that school and see if those guys could beat me. -_-

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of course, you misunderstand

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Fadamor

There's too much "shoganai!" and not enough "dame!"

But that's all the teachers can do, say "dame!", and then stand by and watch as the kids continue to do whatever they want. Eventually this naturally evolves into apathy. You see it all over the world with disheartened and cynical teachers who've just given up because they've been given the responsibility of disciplining students but no authority or means to fulfill that responsibility. It's global.

noriyosan73

The halls and classrooms did not have supervision between classes. I believe that the teachers need to be assigned a room for the day and take ownership of it.

So you're proposing that instead of the teachers moving between classes that the students move between classes? That doesn't actually solve a thing, in fact it makes it worse. Instead of beating someone while the teacher is out of the classroom it will just result in them dragging the student into the toilets on their way to their next class and beating them there.

I notice you commented that the hallways and classrooms are unsupervised during classes. How many teachers do you think a school has? Yes, there are probably enough to supervise the classrooms, but one for each hallway too? And a teacher (of the appropriate gender) for each restroom (because students often go to the restroom between classes)? Sorry, this is just a silly line of thinking. There simply aren't enough teachers to watch every student every second of the day.

...and frankly if you ask parents of teenagers then (if they're honest) they'll admit that their children spend large portions of the day unsupervised, either playing with friends or studying on their own, etc. Yet these same parents expect teachers to supervise their own children every second of the day? These aren't babies who need to be protected from accidently falling down, these are teenagers who are legitimately expected to be able to behave themselves for the less than 10 minutes between classes.

Teachers are teachers, they're not police officers, and they have other duties to attend to, like preparing for classes. If you want police officers in the classrooms then go to your local police station and ask them to stand guard during those 10 minutes, but don't ask a teacher who's trying to prepare fun and interesting classes that engage and stimulate their students to stop preparing lessons and go and stand guard over the students.

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Frungy...

I have been a volunteer mother in my childrens school off and on since they were in kinder, and I can say, when children misbehave they are directed to the principals office, or detention...in the times I have been in the school, I personally have seen little troubles with teachers and students but it depends on the school and what they are willing to tolerate. You won't see a child in school if he is not in full uniform, they will be sent home, no mouth talk towards teachers, a note is sent home to parents immediately.Kids for the most part here know the consequences so it is less difficult for the teachers, so a school that shows weakness and lack of discipline, will suffer greater consequences, no school is without bullies but as I stated before if penalities were given out, such as first offense...3 days suspended classes, second offense 7 days suspended etc.. etc...I am sure if ppl have their children getting suspended for bullying or disrespecting teachers, actions at home will be taken so the kids will know,it won't be tolerated.You don't have to put a hand on children to teach respect.I do think parents should be held accountable for their children, but when a crime happens in school, teachers/principals are responsible, we are the ones who intrust our children to them while they are on the premises.

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As Fadamor pointed out, the safety of the students is of the utmost importance. Teachers and principals are obligated to make every effort to ensure that bullying is stopped. Every school should have guidelines as to how to deal with a bully and the consequences for bullying should be clearly laid out. Also students should be aware that they can provide support to someone who is being bullied.

If everyone in the school works together and their is good communication between teachers and communication with parents as well, it's possible to have the ideal safe environment where no student feels afraid or threatened.

I teach in a kindergarten classroom and there is already a bully in the class. Every day I do my best to discipline him and I tell all my students to be nice to each other. It's not easy though and I do wonder what the parents of this boy are teaching or not teaching him at home. How does a five year old kid learn these kinds of nasty behaviors? He has to have learned it from someone.

I know that while the students are at school that I am responsible for their safety and well-being but it sometimes feels like an uphill battle because it's difficult to change the behavior of a kid who you have only known for a few months compared to the years of learning he has had previously. Really ALL teachers AND parents have to have a zero tolerance policy toward bullying.

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What a frustrating thred to read. You guys still don't get it.

Parents are legal guardians with power and responsibilities entrusted in them by the state. Teachers are legal guardians with no power entrusted to them, ONLY responsibilities. In fact they are viewed only as potential culprits.

A parent can restrain his kid with force(to a degree), if necessary. A teacher will face an assault charge if he/she does the same. THAT is the difference. That is the SOLE difference. Parent teacher communication is a wonderful thing, and in an ideal world, it would solve 99% of the problems kids face at school. Reality is different, though. For one thing, not all parents communicate. For another, teachers have a busy enough time teaching their students and dealing with monster parents, let alone keeping the lines of communication open with the good ones.

The number one problem is the law. That parents shirk their responsibilities is a given in every single country. However, combine that with a law that punishes teachers for doing a parent's duty, and you have the mess we have here.

Do I have to rephrase this another way? Frungy is doing his best, but you guys have to at least try to understand the background here, not just go with what you think.

It doesn't matter if teachers have a zero tolerance policy toward bullying or not. They have no recourse to carry through with their policy. The law prevents them from doing so.

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There should be a zero tolerance policy on bullying in schools that all schools should enforce. The bottom line is parents are paying the teachers and the school salary whether it is a public or private school.

If a teacher did not report bullying to the school administration that's a problem. If the teacher did, the school administration did nothing then they are at fault along with taking the side of bullying. It's not that teachers and schools can't do anything about bullying it's that they don't want to do anything.

Teachers have a lot on their plate but they should not turned a blind eye to bullying. Parents should not let teachers raise their kids because teachers are suppose to educate the students.

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VelvetRosetta

if penalities were given out, such as first offense...3 days suspended classes, second offense 7 days suspended etc.. etc...I am sure if ppl have their children getting suspended for bullying or disrespecting teachers, actions at home will be taken so the kids will know,it won't be tolerated.

Parents could tell their children to stay at home, however schools cannot tell students to stay at home during the years of compulsory education, it's simply illegal and not within the school's power.

It is within the parents' power to protect every other student in a class by disciplining their own child by making them stay home for a day or so. However you don't see parents doing this, instead they attack the teachers, accuse the teachers of causing the problems, or victimising their child, etc.

You don't have to put a hand on children to teach respect.I do think parents should be held accountable for their children, but when a crime happens in school, teachers/principals are responsible, we are the ones who intrust our children to them while they are on the premises.

Don't be ridiculous. Parents and government have stripped away all options from teachers while simultaneously increasing their level of responsibility. 30 years ago if the teachers called parents into a school then the parents jumped and arrived shame-faced that their child had done something wrong. Now they arrive full of rage and indignation that the teacher "allowed" their child to do something wrong.

You see the problem with both pictures? Neither one acknowledges that the child is responsible for their own actions and that BOTH the parents and teachers should co-operate to help show the child the error of their ways. Education has shifted from one ridiculous extreme to another.

Until parents realise that their responsibility doesn't end simply because their child is at school, or at the mall, or at Disney Land. A parent is ALWAYS responsible for their child.

Here's a truism from management that is often repeated but rarely understood or followed. "Authority can be delegated, responsibility cannot."

You can delegate the school and teachers authority over your children, but you can never delegate responsibility.

Think about it for a while in both the business and social context and maybe with time you'll understand.

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