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Schoolteacher incited students to create chaos: principal

25 Comments

One of four teachers accused of bullying their colleagues at a western Japan elementary school also encouraged pupils to defy authority and create chaos in class, the principal of the school said Wednesday, citing one of the bullying victims.

Miki Nio said at a press conference in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, that the teacher told children to rebel so as to "ruin class." The teacher denied making the remarks.

A local education board revealed last week that a male teacher in his 20s at Higashisuma Elementary School complained of being bullied by four senior colleagues, claiming they daubed curry on his body and rubbed spicy soup against his eyes.

The three other victims -- a man and two women -- also reported suffering verbal abuse and sexual harassment from the four since last year.

The principal offered a "heartfelt apology" over the failure to recognize the harassment among teachers and pledged not to allow the accused four to teach at the school, but did not mention any other punitive measures.

According to Nio, who took on the principal role this spring, the bullying had been mentioned to the previous principal in February. When a teacher expressed concerns about the way colleagues were treating the male teacher, the then-principal approached the target of the bullying, but dropped the matter after he claimed to be all right.

Another teacher reported the bullying to Nio in June. She confirmed that the male teacher had been subjected to abusive behaviors such as being hit on the bottom, but did not take the matter to the education board.

The education board says it became aware of the bullying in September after receiving complaints from family members of the male teacher.

Aside from harassing colleagues, the four teachers -- three men and a woman -- are also suspected of having made abusive remarks to children and using physical violence such as yanking a chair out from under a student to cause a fall.

© KYODO

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

25 Comments
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The effects of the sempai/kouhai nonsense.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Again, file a formal complaint with the police, have them detained, charged, and arrested, and fired along the way as well!

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Again, file a formal complaint with the police, have them detained, charged, and arrested, and fired along the way as well!

Too right.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

My wife HATES teachers as a result of having had some truly horrible teachers growing up in rural Japan. She said so many of her teachers were either strange, mentally unstable, or just downright mean and cruel. She said this incident doesn't surprise her at all.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

When you are raised in an environment that teaches you older people are never to be questioned and always respected, this is a natural result.

It's too bad that Japanese people aren't taught that respect is earned and not deserved by virtue of age.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

I love that they put the words heartfelt apology in quotation marks because we all know what that really means

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Promise to not let them teach at that school just means they got moved somewhere else no real punishment

7 ( +7 / -0 )

As if it is not bad enough that the current generation of students have no consequences, it seems the teachers do not either. These idiots should be fired immediately and facing common assault charges.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Higashi Suma Elementary School sounds more like an asylum than a school...

5 ( +6 / -1 )

kurisupisu - Higashi Suma Elementary School sounds more like an asylum than a school...

I've taught in over twenty public and private Jr/Sr high schools, universities and colleges. Your conclusion is quite correct for many schools.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Nio: I responded to the matter inadequately. I did not contact the authorities or the school board as I should have and was hoping to keep this quiet. Now that it has come to light I am going to throw as many people under the bus to make myself look less culpable.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The irony is that Japanese kids need to rebel against this conformist system.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

What a mess! Japanese educational system?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I said something like this before and I got blocked for being inappropriate:

Japan doesn't take bullying too serious at all. It gets to a point where people or even teenagers commit suicide because they feel like nobody cares about a bullied victim. Japan needs to take a VERY strong and strict stand when it comes to bullying of any kind.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

My wife HATES teachers as a result of having had some truly horrible teachers growing up in rural Japan. She said so many of her teachers were either strange, mentally unstable, or just downright mean and cruel. She said this incident doesn't surprise her at all.

I think the "world of their own" nature of Japanese schools attracts the wrong kind of people. So many teachers and kids have little to no life outside school, so they lose all perspective.

Many teachers will make silly comments, sometimes to be down with the kids, so this "rebel" comment may not deserve much attention. Rubbing curry into someones' eyes is a serious assault though, and should result in dismissal, preferably followed by the principal standing in front of school and saying "thank god we're rid of those pr*cks". No "but they were good teachers...." type sentiment from "strict-is-good" parents or kids who were teachers' pet should be allowed to linger.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

My experience in public elementary schools and junior high schools was great! Good people working hard for the kids. It was out in the country. I'd do it again if it weren't for the terrible pay.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

YubaruToday  06:58 am JST

Again, file a formal complaint with the police, have them detained, charged, and arrested, and fired along the way as well!

I agree, but that isn't the way things are dealt with in Japan, nor will they ever deviate simply because it's a foreign concept - one which doesn't make them 'look good' by following.

I think family members of the bullying victim should do more to make noise about such cases, rather than just alert the principle to it and let him sort it out his way... this is very dangerous as he may be bullied to an extent too in some form or another. Who's to say they are weak and just want problems to go away by doing nothing? The family members have to push and push HARD the moment some incident like this occurs. Keep it up until real change happens and people are punished. The parents/family members have the power to make a difference very early on. No one can criticise them as they have their family member's best interests at heart.... but no one else will.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"...the then-principal approached the target of the bullying, but dropped the matter..." So the principal was remiss in his responsibilities to get to the bottom of the situation. Back in the day, principles had a say in where faculty on their staff were subsequently assigned, and could arrange behind the scenes to have them transferred. Happened to a colleague of mine who was a JCP and Nikkyoso member.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I knew they would be assaulting the children too. They should be in prison.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The problem Japan has is that it actually requires a level of bullying in order to maintain the social structure.

If people were encouraged to speak out and question the structures and the incompetent people in charge of things, the whole system would start to fall apart.

The people doing the bullying now have already gone through the ‘apprentice’ system. It’s now finally their chance to wield the power - so it’s not going to change from the top.

Its got to start with the kids - but as this article shows, the teachers are infected with this nonsense too.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Oh, and by the way, the headline for this article is a bit misleading. Surely the headline should focus on the fact 4 teachers were bullying their colleagues.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The job of J educator often, for some bizarre reason, attracts those that have little interest in the concept of life long learning themselves, and an unfortunate penance for getting their kicks ( and punches! ) as role obsessed tyrants! Have seen it with my own eyes, as many JT readers may have too, they should t be anywhere near children. Low resolution thinking and methods so outdated that they should be in the dustbins of history.

The other side of this train wreck of a story is the crime of inaction. Those in positions to be able to do something turning the other way. The head in the sand ‘pretend’ leader. This principal is an obvious example of this. Inaction can be just as dangerous as the crimes of the idiots that simply don’t know any better.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

You need restorative justice to address victims needs, offender obligations, harms and, maybe most importantly, causes. Unless y'all think this is just some bad apples. Punishment is a failed concept here. Punishment in these cases amount to people sweeping it under the rug.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

pledged not to allow the accused four to teach at the school,

This is confusing. Does this mean the four were fired, or that they have simply been shuffled into other positions (including possibly teaching at other schools) where they can continue to pose the same problem?

Sounds like this behavior was pretty wide spread and on-going, I don't see how they could keep these teachers on staff. They sound toxic.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Quote: "The education board says it became aware of the bullying in September after receiving complaints from family members of the male teacher."

Er, right, so they suspected nothing before that, as if. Haha. They must surely have known about it all along, but hoped that nothing would be formally reported. Once the family complained publicly , they were unable to hide it any longer, I bet.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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