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