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Symposium on school bullying held in Kobe


A symposium to discuss bullying in schools was held in Kobe this past Sunday. The event was attended by the father of a student who committed suicide after being bullied by classmates in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, in November, 2011.

“Since my son's death, I have spoken with children suffering bullying and with their families, but even though the issue has been in the spotlight, the situation is still the same,” the man said, NTV reported Monday. "It is important for victims to have an accurate knowledge of the law and to know that legal action can be taken against bullies and schools that let it go on."

The symposium was held by an association of families who have lost children because of suicide due to bullying, corporal punishment and accidents during club activities.

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Since bullying starts early in life and is a sustained activity in this country I wonder if this will be successful.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

will not be successful as bullying is a major part of japanese culture. It's what they all do in one form or another. It's like asking them not to be japanese anymore.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

@umbrella I couldn't agree more. Kids do it, teachers do it, bosses in companies do it, I've even see men and women in "loving" relationships do it to each other.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

A symposium to discuss bullying in schools.

Don't need a symposium to decide Japan schools should have a ZERO TOLLERANCE POLICY. Quit dancing around worrying about the rights of the bullies, and the potential "embarrassment" to their families and get on with it.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

It is very positive that Osaka is taking steps, instructing people on their rights and giving schools a wake-up call that this won't be tolerated. It will take time, but this is a good start by Osaka.

However I think that an aggravating factor in Japan is that the kids are so stressed out by unnecessary entrance examinations, being pushed to attend club EVERY day with no days off (not even Saturdays or Sundays in some cases), and getting so little sleep that the reaction to the bullying is often disproportionate, like committing suicide.

A complete reform of the educational system is required, and in precisely the OPPOSITE direction to the current move towards more days at school and longer hours.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Japan's senior-junior system is used as a form of bullying. And basically, they're all saying "Shut up and deal with it.. If they're older than you, respect their decision no matter how utterly stupid they are." Are you kidding me? That''s a form of bullying no matter how you look at it. The younger generations don't really follow the system all that much and that's a good thing but it's still there. 0-tolerance policy is the answer. And the punishment should fit the crime, in this case the level of bullying. Bullies should be suspended/expelled and a notice should be posted to all other schools about said person. And if they caused a suicide it should be the death penalty. Then they can mentally suffer waiting until the day they die. Any teachers that allowed it to go on without saying anything should be punished as well.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What about bullying in the work place and on the play grounds with the stay at home mommy groups.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yeah, bullying in schools is a problem worldwide, but only in Japan do so many teenagers kill themselves because of it. They also need to address the cultural practices by the teachers. They use belittling, intimidation and, in some cases, corporal punishment as discipline. One disciplinary practice I found to be quite alarming was shaving the heads of unruly boys. That is assault! The whole school system needs a good shake up. The teachers have no means of discipline available to them. They cannot remove unruly students from the classroom nor can they stop them participating in sports clubs or school excursions. There is no form of detention system either. This is what causes the intimidatory disciplinary action. The students know the teachers can do nothing to them. Then, you have the monster parent scenario where the teachers are intimidated by the parents. The education standard is suffering because of it. I cannot count the amount of times I have been instructed to make an easy test to give the students a score that is competitive with other schools and to keep the parents off the teachers' backs. The bullying from other students mostly comes from the how the teachers conduct themselves. They see the teachers using intimidation and belittling as a form of discipline and just follow their lead. The whole scenarios is pretty sad.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

If the teachers were assigned their classroom and were responsible for making it an interesting environment for learning, then perhaps bullying would decrease. Why? Experience shows that teachers move in and out of classrooms every hour in the junior high level. They run to the teachers' room to nap rather than being alert in their classrooms or supervising the hallways during preparation time. Vice principals and principals need to roam the halls during passing times and lunch times. If there is a problem with a student or students, the parents need to be called and the student is sent home. If the parent is not available, put the student in the office and tell the student to stay home until the parent comes to the school. Send a letter, e-mail, text, skymail or call to contact the parents. Don't let the inmates run the asylum.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

but only in Japan do so many teenagers kill themselves because of it

I beg to differ. The rate of suicide among those aged 15-19 in Japan was 2.4 per 100,000 (2010). Compare that to youths (15-24) in Korea, where the rate is 13 per 100,000 (2011) or New Zealand, 27.6 per 100,000 (2005).

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Kickboard - you seemed to miss the point. Yeah, teenage suicide is higher in other countries, but only in Japan is it directly related to bullying.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )


Pls, provide proof how the teenage suicide rate is due to bullying.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan has a bully culture. No wonder there are so many bully kids.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I've mentioned to a number of people (nicely) -- mothers, parents, teachers, staff-t many countries would regard their actions as bullying - but they tell me that it is "not" . When I ask them what "bullying" is then, they can't really tell me. Japan is a bullying society for sure -- but there are many who understand this -- so there is a change in the wind. We all need to support any actions to educate society about "bullying". Education and speaking out is the only way to change the ideas.

Since I assume even a Japanese would start to wince when it escalates to oh, say, straight out beatings, perhaps you might want to elaborate on what kind of things you would rate as bullying but they didn't. Let's put it in perspective :-)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's me - you want a source? Do you not read the newspapers? Nearly every kid that jumps in front of a train, jumps out a classroom window or hangs themselves leaves a note stating they were bullied. Three weeks ago there was a 14 year old boy jumped in front if a train at Funabashi station leaving a note stating he was bullied.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Kids today want to talk. There is always some unfulfilled need which causes kids to bully. When that need is met, they can stop, just like that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Bullying is last grasp for society losers. a requiem for the insecure, if only we all had not at one time or another succumbed to threats and humiliating behaviour to get our way. I know I have a probably will in the future.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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