A 14-year-old boy at a public junior high school in Saikai City had his rib fractured last month after a teacher kneed him in the back, and the principal of the school was discovered to have attempted to keep the incident quiet by asking the parents to say it was just a bruise, it was learned on Monday.
According to the Saikai City Board of Education, the second grade student was told by a 33-year-old male mathematics teacher during class on Feb 8 to tuck his shirt in. The boy didn't obey and the teacher slapped him in his face several times, before kneeing him in the back twice. The boy complained to his mother of back pain that night and they went to a hospital the next day, where he was diagnosed with a fractured rib and was told it would take several weeks to heal.
The principal and the teacher visited the student's home on Feb 9 to apologize for the incident, and the principal visited the home again on Feb 10 and asked the boy's mother if she wouldn't mind saying it was just a bruise. The mother agreed but retracted later in the day after another parent called her saying she had heard her son's rib was broken. The mother then told the principal that she wouldn't lie about it.
The principal said of his actions: "I wasn't trying to protect the teacher; I was thinking about the impact it would have on the student concerned and those taking entrance exams. It was a rash decision and I regret it now."
A member of the Saikai City Board of Education condemned the teacher and the principal's behavior, saying they would hold a meeting to discuss what action they would take.© News reports