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Japan had record 610,000 school bullying cases in FY2019

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Teachers in Japan really sucks.

They always deny that bullying exists at their school, and even it is just in front of them, they look another way and still continue to deny that bullying exists.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

How is it for mixed race kids? Anyone have experience in the matter?

13 ( +14 / -1 )

...and those are just the reported incidents.

This behavioural norm is then carried into the workplace.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

The fiscal 2019 survey found 317 students took their own lives and 10 of them had faced bullying.

It shows another implication. I wonder what really caused the rest 307 students to kill themselves.

Teachers in Japan really sucks.

They always deny that bullying exists at their school, and even it is just in front of them, they look another way and still continue to deny that bullying exists.

A highly prejudiced view. Japanese schoolteachers can also be targets of bullying (by parents, authorities, etc.).

4 ( +7 / -3 )

My god

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The main reason I will really consider putting my kids in international schools.

Unacceptable to raise my children with all the love and respect of the world just to have them bullied and pested by little devils with very low self-esteem, raised in a home without any love, hugs, proper religion or even communication. Let them bully themselves.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

612,496 bullying cases

Based on personal experience, I was going to write a comment along the lines of "n hundred thousand of which weren't dealt with", but Monty beat me to it.

Instead I will pour scorn on the idea that only one in 800 cases caused "severe psychological damage". Something like one in thirty kids doesn't go to school. It would mean bullying is not a factor for 95% of them.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

... This behavioural norm is then carried into the workplace.

That is also carried into the home. The fact is that the peer-pressure to conform (obey mindlessly) is deeply rooted in the society and anyone who dares to think independently is excoriated. That is the root of the bullying in schools and the workplace as well.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Among the cases, the number of "serious" incidents in which victims sustained severe physical or psychological damage also hit a record 723, up 20 percent from fiscal 2018, it showed.

This is so much sugar-coating the numbers here, with over 650,000 cases reported and only 723 are considered severe?

I would say that ALL cases of bullying leave psychological damage, and all they are attempting to do is down play the severity of the situation.

MEXT has their heads up their nether regions!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japanese schoolteachers can also be targets of bullying (by parents, authorities, etc.).

That is correct, but schoolteachers are adults and they can "fight" back!

But if an elementary or high school kid is bullied, it is the responsibility and the obligation of the teachers to help and to prevent that bullying.

But almost all teachers don't want to get involved because they think, "that is not my problem", or they simply don't have the balls to do anything.

As a teacher, you have more responsibilities at school than just stand in front of the class and follow your textbook!

If I read the news, that again a kid has commit suicide because of bullying at school, it really breaks my heart, and I am getting very very angry at that school and the teachers there.

Because they always come up with the same excuse:

We didn't recognize any bullying at our school.

BS!

They just close their eyes!

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Parents need to do a better job of supporting their kids getting bullied.

If one of my kids was experiencing consistent and bad bullying, I'd come down hard on the teaching staff and school, and confront the bullies myself. And I'd also have my kids learn self defense and learn to fight back, the only language these bullies understand is force directed back at them. These bullies smell the fear they cause in their victims, and get encouraged by it. That has to be stopped.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Another survey. Japanese ministries spend too much time on surveys and not enough time on concrete actions to prevent and prosecute. Didn't we just have another survey released a few weeks ago about DV and child abuse? Just another way for the government to show us that they're hard at work with our tax money.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Oldman13

If one of my kids was experiencing consistent and bad bullying, I'd come down hard on the teaching staff and school, and confront the bullies myself

I 100% agree!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Monty,

Come on, you cannot go to school and kick a bunch of 6-year-old ass.

On the positive side my mixed-race daughter went through public elementary school over and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Personally.I wouldn’t even have entertained the idea of putting her through a public JHS over here.That is where the group/herd mentality and conformity start to be enforced.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

As I have mentioned before, this ties directly to the declining birth rate. Who would want to bring a child in to this kind of environment? I'm pretty sure a lot of people of age to have children were victims of bullying, remember it, and that affects their decision to have children. Childhood here is to be endured, not enjoyed. Make a better environment for children.

That being said, the one experience my son had with bullying (public elem. school) was handled very well by the teachers. The only other experience was on his soccer team when a kid from another team, the losing one, ran up to him and shouted "gaijin-me" (my son was the keeper and had a shut out). That kid's coach was on him in less than a second. Maybe things are different here in tiny Okayama.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

On the positive side my mixed-race daughter went through public elementary school over and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Same.

Personally.I wouldn’t even have entertained the idea of putting her through a public JHS over here.That is where the group/herd mentality and conformity start to be enforced.

My older kid graduates primary school in March. We'll be leaving Japan at that time - I don't want them to go through high school here either.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@Spitfire

The Kids only "verbal".

But the teachers, school authorities and the Bully's parents should be ready for me.

On the positive side my mixed-race daughter went through public elementary school over and thoroughly enjoyed it

That is really nice!

I hope that my son will have the same experience.

He is in a Prep-School now and so far he really enjoys it and made some friends there.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japan had record 610,000 school bullying cases in FY2019

Only, another number that is far lower than the reality. The article is poorly written, should be "reported and recognised" Recognised meaning there were reported cases that weren't recognised as bullying. Considering that school officials are always in denial even when bullying has led to death, the number of bullying cases is in the millions.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

But almost all teachers don't want to get involved because they think, "that is not my problem", or they simply don't have the balls to do anything.

Don't generalize a phenomenon based solely on your observation. A lot of teachers are serious, professional and quite responsible. Besides (unpaid) overtime work and heavy burdens put on individual teachers are a rising problem in Japan's school scenes. Let teachers focus on teaching and classroom management while school counselors and experts should primarily handle student-bullying cases.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

My son has a bully in his class. I think its pretty rare, but he has extensive tools for both physical and psychological bullying. He's big enough to physically intimidate the others, is nasty enough to hit them with all manner of insults, points-scoring, and passive-aggressiveness (overly commiserating kids he's beaten in sports etc.), and sly enough most of the time to not do it when adults are around. He also has very good "aisatsu" type manners, which throw some adults off the scent. The kid has bullied others at various extra-curricular sports clubs too, but has never been kicked out of them in spite of the coaches knowing and lots of other kids quitting as a result. I consider this lack of punishment to be tacit approval of the bully.

The others in the class at school all avoid the kid, so he is counter-bullied in the form of nakama hazure. If you respect children, you will know that the group dynamics are likely to go way beyond this in complexity. It wasn't so bad when the class had an experienced female teacher, but it now has a young male teacher who is completely hopeless. The same teacher's previous class had a girl with a bad skin condition, and he was incapable of making her feel at ease at school. The mother told us she was constantly in tears.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Let teachers focus on teaching and classroom management while school counselors and experts should primarily handle student-bullying cases.

Bullying is a failure of classroom management. Teachers should intervene whenever pupils are being nasty to each other. Bullying should have consequences for the bully.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Bullying in schools is a symptom of the larger cultural problem. If it was just telling kids to quite bullying it'd have already been done. It isn't that simple a problem.

Passive aggressive behavior is a main part of how the culture works.

Because not verbalizing thoughts and feelings limit expression, bullying is communication. It's bad communication, but in a society where rules and not breaking them is Japan's main source of life, the frustration of being incapable of understanding one's own feelings makes self assessment impossible for many, and lashing out is the only way they know how to express themselves.

In a nutshell, Japanese are not individualistic thinking people, they're made to think a certain way, but it is so limiting, human nature takes over and gets angry.

One does not voice their opinion on anything negatively about others, even if it is constructive criticism. That pent up keeping it inside manifests itself into manipulative gaslighting mentalities leading to bullying as a means of control.

Add on the fact that psychology and mental fitness is treated as a group non problem...just fit in, whether as an individual there are issues that should be looked at...it exacerbates the Japanese lack of a true self identity.

It's a slippery slope of lack of self worth and confidence, leading to a lack of truth in leaders and that leads to great frustration, the Japanese don't even know why it's there, nor want to acknowledge it. Bullying is part of the culture, and it's everywhere. Teachers have been bullied, and some most certainly are, at work.

When role models, from teachers to police to leaders bully, so will children follow that behavior, as well.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

All this pent-up powerlessness, with no way to let it out.

Students, adults, the same thing.

Bullying has always been, but now it's on steroids.

There needs to be a way for people to express themselves,

to let this rage, and lack of power out.

It starts with realizing that everyone who feels this way

is not unique, or freakish.

More humor and expression, less anger and bullying.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@noriajohan

Besides (unpaid) overtime work and heavy burdens put on individual teachers are a rising problem in Japan's school scenes

Everybody who wants to be a teacher in Japan knows that situation.

So you should consider that, before you apply as a teacher in japan.

If you can not handle that, a teacher is not the right job for you.

Let teachers focus on teaching and classroom management while school counselors and experts should primarily handle student-bullying cases.

I completely disagree with that.

It is the teachers responsibility to handle bullying at their school.

Teachers are the ones who see the students almost whole day. Not the school councelors or Experts.

School Councelors and so called "Experts" are just sitting in their office the whole day and stamp documents!

Sorry, but I hate bullying in all its terrible ways.

Hard Bullying can change a kids life mentally forever.

And this must be prevented by all means.

And nobody should close his or her's eyes from it!

Especially not the teachers and also not the parents!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@finallyrich

The main reason I will really consider putting my kids in international schools.

Yes, if you have the money for that.

But your are finallyrich, so I think no problem for you.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Teachers in Japan suck because of these 2 main reasons IMO.

They were also educated in school with bullies and terrible teachers and army-like education(queue in a line, shut up when teacher talks, etc)

Smart people don't wanna become teachers because teachers have a lot of work(meaningless paper work, tedious meetings, etc) and get 230,000 yen a month.

To reduce bullies, have the surveillance cameras all over the school, hire better teachers with decent pay, and if they can, have school lawyers for the trouble.

We can stop this whole madness right away, but why they don't do it?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I blame the bullying on negative family environments and over-exposure to violent manga and computer games.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Strangerland.........I hope you continue posting after you leave Japan.Your comments are always noted.

@Monty......I am sure your kid will have a great time.T think Japanese elementary schools provide a great learning base.Your kid will make tons of friends,in fact the only problem you will have is that your kid is busy,studying,playing with friends,etc you will hardly see him/her.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The thing that is most concerning is not the actual number but this is trending upward (new record).

I heard some stories about the Japanese schools and it seemed that even Japanese kids returning from overseas (if their parents were stationed out of Japan) also had issues when coming back which I found interesting. In fact one Japanese friend of mine said his kids had a harder time than those which were mixed (i.e. Japanese and another nationality).

My kids went to an international school here and the school addressed the bullying issue very well and took it very seriously. At the elementary and middle school level it was given a very high priority and seemed quite effective.

What I have personally seen is within Japanese companies there is alot of bullying and power harassment which seems to be a continuation from early life. Fixing the bullying issues when kids are young would absolutely help the kids (most important) and also prevent some of the adult bullying down the line.

I understand the posters above who say the teacher's life is hard (low pay and they are victims of bullying) but they should still do their utmost to try to protect kids.

When I went to school in the U.S. (a long time ago) there were always a few bullies and we kids in alot of cases were left to resolve it for ourselves. This took time to improve (at least one generation). From what I hear from relatives and friends things changed alot and the bullying situation is better.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

How is it for mixed race kids? Anyone have experience in the matter?

Put two kids through public elementary school, no problems whatsoever on account of race.

There was one problem with a form teacher who was a 'stickler for punishment' - if one kid in the class 'misbehaved' (which apparently included things like being left-handed, being unable to eat natto without gagging, etc.) she would punish the whole class by making them run 10/20/30 times around the school yard. It should have been obvious to the school that something was not quite right when one class were constantly out running around the yard, but it took class parents getting together and making a fuss to get her replaced with a younger male teacher, who turned out to be superb.

Daughter opted to go to the local public junior high to be with her friends. Again no problems on account of race, in fact she was popular for her ability to help other kids with their English homework. The biggest problem we came across was the insane emphasis on bukatsu.

Son won a scholarship to a private junior/senior high, and had a great time, made lots of good friends and is still in touch with his form teacher, nearly two decades later. Not saying all private schools are equally good; a friend sent her daughter to a rather exclusive all-girls school, and it was, she said, rather like sending her back into the 19th century, with the emphasis very much on A Woman's Place.

Whatever country you're in, whether you go public or private, I would say choose your schools carefully.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'm only an ALT, so no real teacher authority. But in one of my schools I've worked at, a kid from another class walked into the middle of the English class that was going on. The he started punching a kid. I put that shi!t to an end right there right then. I got right in the middle of the two and the kid started punching me. I laughed it off as they didn't hurt that much. Other teachers saw then rushed into the room and dragged the kid out. The kid came back, but at that point I was teaching class from around the kid to protect him.

Also I abhor bullying. I was bullied as a child. I'm guessing that's why I have a softer heart than most. If I see bullying of any of my students, I'm right there right away and stopping it. No bullying happens when I'm there.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Blame the educational system (among other things.)

They don't mix classes.

Arrange Math and Japanese classes (or whatever classes you want) by skill level, not by homeroom.

Allow choices of classes, not just the same ones for everyone.

Have them socialize properly not just lecture them the entire time.

Enforce suspensions and detention to delinquents, create consequences for students if they break rules.

There's so many things that CAN but AREN'T done.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"A ministry official attributed the record numbers to recent efforts by teachers to identify and address bullying." This is like Trump saying that the number of positive coronavirus tests is down to increased testing.... And does that figure include cases involving teaching faculty?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A ministry official attributed the record numbers to recent efforts by teachers to identify and address bullying

The media is failing us here. It’s not enough to just state the numbers. Reporters also need to provide some coverage on what teachers are doing to address this. What are these “recent efforts”?

When I went to school in the U.S. (a long time ago) there were always a few bullies and we kids in alot of cases were left to resolve it for ourselves. This took time to improve (at least one generation). From what I hear from relatives and friends things changed alot and the bullying situation is better.

Bullying is a global problem. According to OECD statistics, 5 percent of Japanese students have reported themselves as being “frequently bullied.” This compares to 2 percent in Korea, 6 percent in Germany, 9 percent in Russia, and 10 percent in the US and China.

https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/docserver/9789264273856-12-en.pdf?expires=1603438035&id=id&accname=ocid194761&checksum=B589EEF2250FA9CFE3C20CF0C064A42E

1 ( +1 / -0 )

...why is bullying measured during the fiscal year? Are there bullies on March 31st thinking, "crap, I need to give another 7 swirlies today or I'll have to pay more in bullying tax"?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's sad that even me as a visitor experienced some attitude from 2 young male shinkansen staff that caught me off guard and startled as I try to process what just happened. I was so angry and pissed because it was rude. I later realized later that the feeling was similar to a feeling I thought I forgot long ago. The feeling of being bullied. I was ready to go back and kick their teeth in but didn't want to get in trouble as a tourist.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My son is in school primary he too is of mixed race. He came home and told me that two kids in his class tried to bully him. My son is very toned for his size and he is also very athletic a excellent student and knows how to take care of himself. I went to the school talked to the teacher and the administrators, I even talked to the kids parents who were trying to bully my son. I left with a warning. I said my son comes to school to listen and to learn and to make friends, he should not have to worry about be bullied or dealing with the name calling. I left with these words, my son comes to school to listen and to learn and to make friends he does not want enemies but he knows how to defend himself. I told him the words and the nasty names he can ignore but if it gets to a point where he can no longer ignore them call them names back and if it gets physical, take care of it. I NEVER HAD A PROBLEM AGAIN!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Never had anything to do with Japanese schools, but I do recall meeting a Filipina mother of a kid who was suffering badly from bullying at this school. The kids Japanese father didn't seem to want to address the issue and the poor mother was at her wits end.

The kid was in a private English class with one of his main tormentors, and my coworker dealt with it very quickly in that setting ,but that was only for a once a week Eikaiwa class, so presumably the bullying at school continued unabated.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I work in a small international school the children and teachers both are really great. Last week, one little boy in a class called a girl fat and all the other children quickly came down on him for that. Blessedly, it was during a spelling time and I had all the children write "Beauty comes from the inside out." What took place was so unusual and I was proud of the whole class and the school for standing up to the bullying.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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