national

Students told to write ransom notes as part of moral education

42 Comments

The Yamanashi Prefectural Board of Education said Thursday that an elementary school homeroom teacher in the town of Nirasaki made fifth grade children write kidnap ransom notes as part of their moral education. The teacher in question, a man in his 40s, has been at the school for five years.

According to the board, on Sept 27, the teacher wrote a "ransom demand" on the blackboard, which said: "I am holding your homeroom teacher. If you want him back, bring 8,000 yen out to the playground. If you are even one second late, you can consider his life over."

The same teacher distributed newspapers to a high school class and instructed the children to work together to find and cut out the words they needed to make their own ransom notes. The incident came to light after one student's parents complained to the school.

The teacher was quoted by school authorities as saying: "I was trying to make an activity they'd enjoy and teach them the value of teamwork. I now accept that this exercise was a bad idea."

Board Superintendent of Education Yutaka Koshimizu on Thursday apologized to the parents involved: "In regard to the deeply inappropriate content of the lesson, we offer our sincerest apologies. We have decided that the teacher in question will be allowed to continue to work for the time being, but he will do so under supervision."

© Compiled from wire reports

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

42 Comments
Login to comment

funny!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't think he committed a crime worth being totally punished for, but I can understand some parents complaining. I probably would too, at least about the children writing their OWN ransom notes. The one the teacher wrote on the board was kind of funny though, haha.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Honestly ! Where do they get these teachers from ! What an idiotic assignment.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Gee, teachers sometimes make mistakes. Sounded kinda interesting, though. Almost like playing "Clue". I wonder if "Murder Ball" or "Wink Murderer" would go over well? What about the Stranded on a desert island activity? Kids might feel abandoned?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Only in Japan. At least he is teaching the kids a fall back career when the economy here collapses. (JK) A bit crazy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It goes a long way to towards proving there is not enough open-mindedness and free thinking in the Japanese education system. He wanted to create an activity to show the value of teamwork and this is what he came up with? He added a fourth part to the standard curriculum, reading, writing, arithmetic and 'crime'. What was going through his head? Air?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Moral education in Japan? Sounds like a contradiction!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Finally a teacher thinks outside the box and what do we do? Punish him? Come on! If only my teachers back in school had been this awesome.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've often seen similar ESL activities in resource books - who to throw out of the lifeboat, who to give the organ to, etc. But at elementary school level, it's a bit much, I suppose.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

agree with combinibento! Hey, with the proper simulation and conclusion this may have actually been a good lesson!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Was there an option to bargain? Perhaps say, "8000 yen for my home room teacher? How about 5000yen and a snickers bar?".

I don't see such a problem with just writing a ransom note, it's kindof wacky, and the implied threat of murder was perhaps a bit much, but at least it's not "Please do pages 30 to 3005 of the text book while I sit here and pretend to teach".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Its ot a big deal. I think organised correctly the exercise could spur the imagination and create a future fiction writer or a detective.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No, no this is NOT FUNNY, this is stupid and dangerous! What kind of an idiot fool helps teach youngsters who to WRITE RANSOM NOTES?? This foolish dork of a teacher needs to be FIRED!! ASAP!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

combinibento...u r exactly correct....it must be so boring to be a teacher in Japan and have to tecah strictly by the book... mexicano...lighten up!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“I am holding your homeroom teacher. If you want him back, bring 8,000 yen out to the playground. If you are even one second late, you can consider his life over.”

Oh come on....you were doing so good until you got to the end. You could have at least said that if you are one second late he will be strapped down and forced to listen to a 6-hour long Enka medley. Either that or be forced to watch the hot dog champ scoff down a zillion hot dogs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

stupid is too much of a compliment for this "teacher"..........

Incredibly daft

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Who is the IDIOT who hired this IDIOT??

0 ( +0 / -0 )

my son's 5th grade teacher asked them to do a scavenger hunt togehter for teamwork building.

could this teach honestly not have had a better idea available?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This isn't nearly as bad as the 'moral education' lesson a couple of weeks back where the teacher asked the students how they would murder someone (or something like that), but it's still pretty IMMORAL to be teaching this at all. YES, kidnapping happens in the world and randsome notes are made, but this not the kind of 'realia' one should apply in a classroom setting. I don't think the guy in question in this case need necessarily be fired, but I think some classroom supervision (for the teacher) and a VERY stern warning are in order.

Sheesh... 'moral education' indeed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is a great story - light hearted and fun. I, personally, would have really enjoyed this activity, and I think the teacher should be given a pat on the back (and a nudge in the right direction for the next time).

He was trying to keep the kids entertained. 8000 yen for the homeroom teacher - I imagine they loved every second of it. Kids laughing is a rare sound in a Japanese classroom (speaking from experience).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You'd think this joke-of-a-teacher would have learned a lesson or two from his distant cousin in Okazaki (the "murder by multiplication" sicko).

I am beginning to truly feel the closed nature of Japanese society is seriously affecting the minds of her educators. How can someone conjure up such an activity?!?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

monster parents strike again,,,,,we must never ever teach the children to think outside the square,,,,hence why we are moving home to raise our kids,,,,

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This reminds me of the parents who complain because the teacher reads Harry Potter in class.

But I agree that going as far as to "kill" the teacher in this scenario is a bit much. I guess it assumes some kids care what happens to their teacher ...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think this exercise will soon be up on the teaching boards as a fun new activity. Would skip the death threat at the end, though. Besides, things like this really happen, so who knows when you may have to write one of these? Or respond to one? What next? Could be an excellent "moral education" lesson in conflicting values etc. So, the teacher is far from an idiot, but a free-thinker and risk-taker. Kudos. Also to the alt who showed "The Cove" to his high school classes. Same daring.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Kids laughing is a rare sound in a Japanese classroom (speaking from experience)."

Oh come on are you serious???

0 ( +0 / -0 )

dolphingirl - Hey, with the proper simulation and conclusion this may have actually been a good lesson!

Yeah, perfect for kids under 12 years old. Let's teach them about kidnapping, ransom and killing people. The perfect content for an elementary school class. Gees! It even raises certain taboo issues for an adult's class. It's just plain stupid! This teacher has been teaching for nearly twenty years after four years at university, and this is the best he do? It's just stupid!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What is the problem? It is fantasy, simply not a realistic situation, nobody uses newspapers anymore.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If the last thing bring 8000 yen to the school grounds or your homeroom teacher will recieve a huge "KANCHO" would have been funnier.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Disillusioned: I was being sarcastic. Although in the right context and with the right guidance, I think it could work as a moral lesson for high school students.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This was a good idea. All these people going about it being in bad taste just prefer the robotic non emotional standard which starves children of imagination.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

so many weirdo teacher... about last week there was also a sick teacher that gives math problems to 3rd grader(?) about how many hour it will take to kill 20 children if the killer kills 3 children per hour... (or something like that) this teacher maybe his friend

0 ( +0 / -0 )

hahaha, this isnt much, my friends english teacher had them write suicide notes. To express their creativity - the teacher was put on suspension when a few parents complained though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What exactly do schools teach in 'moral education' classes?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

about last week there was also a sick teacher that gives math problems to 3rd grader(?) about how many hour it will take to kill 20 children if the killer kills 3 children per hour... (or something like that) this teacher maybe his friend

I bet all teachers at one point are exasperated with their spoilt brat students; in a moment of desperation the maths teacher came up with this problem, i think he had dark sense of humour. About the ransom teacher, again I bet, that he was too bored teaching elementary school pupils and wanted some distraction, wanted to have some fun and created this ransom notes lesson.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

PS. Was the moral class at an elementary school or at a high school, the text is confusing, in the middle it says he was teaching at a high school.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I now accept that this exercise was a bad idea.

That's okay, because next week's lesson is learning how to cope with Stockholm Syndrome in a mock-up captive situation in the classroom.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sounds pretty funny to me, I certainly wouldn't have kicked up a fuss. I think it was just a light hearted exercise to break the boredom.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Junior High School OK High School OK

Alter the randsom title and it could have been a good game to play

Elementary School- He was kind of stupid, but I can see what he was trying to do. He should have changed the words around.

15 minute game

" Bad Guys took me (homeroom teacher) somewhere " (1 step) Please find the missing cash in the school playground or else where.

**(2 step)**

Please put the cash in the drop off box ( here is a map that will lead you to the drop off box )

**(3 step)**

Please find the teacher, hold his hands and bring him back to the homeroom class

**(4 step)**

Moral Question (5 step) Please write a detailed paragraph

How much do you think your mother or father is worth ?

How much would you pay for your parent/grandparent ?

If your parent was in jail, hospital, and etc.

How much would you pay to support or get your parent back ?

The true answer - parents are priceless

Next day or next time ( Write your paragraph using newspaper clippings of sentences and words.

how much are you worth ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hmm.. cutting words out of the newspaper.. Seems the teacher wanted to kill (pun not intended) a lot of time. Teacher should be driving a taxi and limit their exposure to other humans on a personal level.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How about teaching children to make pipe bombs and plan terrorist attacks?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

preparing the lil ones for their future job prospects in a disillusioned failing economy of Japan

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Haha, all your homeroom teacher are belong to me!!

Seriously, this should not be an elementary level assignment. Maybe university? Or perhaps high school? Where hypothetical situations like this, and their moral implications would be understood as such.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites