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Teacher disciplined after slapping and pushing student down stairs

38 Comments

Officials at a school in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, say that a 26-year-old teacher has been disciplined for slapping a 13-year-old student and pushing him down a stairwell.

The school said the incident occurred in April at Sagamihara municipal junior high school. TV Asahi reported that the teacher grabbed the boy by the neck and pushed him down a stairwell, after which he slapped him across the face. The student fell nearly 10 steps, damaging ligaments in his right leg and was in hospital for three weeks.

After his actions were discovered, the teacher was forced to take a three-month pay cut as a disciplinary measure for his behavior. The teacher later explained to the school board that the boy had not cleaned up during his allotted time, and had thrown a tantrum when reprimanded.

The teacher released a statement in which he apologized for losing his temper. "I have reflected upon my actions, and am incredibly sorry for my inappropriate behavior," he said in the statement, TV Asahi reported.

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38 Comments
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This teacher needs to be fired, have his pension revoked, criminally charged for assault, and pay the kid some form of financial compensation. This it totally unacceptable behavior.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

This man should not be allowed to teach anymore. If he needs to remain in the industry, he should be placed in a non-teaching position. But he has shown he cannot be trusted to supervise children.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

That boy really had it coming.

In all seriousness though, I can understand how the man feels especially when teaching JHS students. They can be real brats. With that being said, there is absolutely no excuse for the teacher's actions. Physical violence to youth is never the right action. As the "adult" you really have to keep a level head and he should be facing criminal charges and jail time.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The teacher needs to be fired and his pension taken from him. Disgusting. Some people have no business being in a classroom.

I'd also take the parents in and question them and find out if this kid is being raised well. Doesn't sound it but certainly not an excuse for a teacher to do what this one did.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I've known 13 year olds (especially in pack formation) who are begging for a slap. Sadly, it's never a solution. I'd be rather sympathetic to the teacher if that was all it was, but the slap, according to this article, came AFTER the kid went down a flight of stairs.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

There is never any excuse for a teacher even touching a student, let alone slapping or pushing a kid down the stairs. The scum should be ruthlessly hounded out of his job by parents. He is clearly not suited to working with children.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It's amazing how acceptable violence against children still is. If this man had attempted to push a salaryman down a flight of stairs in a station and then slapped him across the face he would have been in very serious trouble. But if you do it to a 13-year-old kid at school you get a pay cut for 3 months. Whatever the kid did, the measures against the teachers were pathetic; a small pay cut is hardly "discipline".

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Three month pay cut? Are you pooping me? He should be fired and barred from ever teaching again. He should also be be facing criminal assault charges. As I've said many times before, most of the bullying I've seen in schools has come from the teachers!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The kids was probably being a complete jerk, but throwing him down a flight of stairs, then slapping him? Way over the line. It's time for dads and moms to start paying some "visits" to these violent teachers and showing them that there are consequences, besides the lame "say sorry, then transfer the teacher to another school" paradigm. Knowing they will likely get a fist in the face, from a parent righteously defending their child from violence, might cut down on these out of control, immature, power tripping, violent teachers.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

This guy not only needs to be fired, he needs to be ARRESTED.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Aggravated assault. That is what I would be charged with if I happened to slap and push this so-called teacher down the stairs. The person ought be fired and jailed. This low-life is not a teacher. He is thug.

Taibatsu is illegal under Article 11 of the Japanese Education Law but it still widely practiced in schools.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

frack I see red when ever I read this, just pray no teacher ever does that to my kid. id probably retaliate exponentially.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

In this day in age, violence against children is wrong but let's be understanding of the teacher as well. Perhaps his violence is a manifestation of Japanese bushido culture? Samurai often slapped one another to establish dominance in ages past.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Aggravated Assault, plainly. Why the #### has this 26-year-old not been arrested already?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Gross cowardice:

By the perp for bullying a child; By the principal for not calling the cops; By the parents for not (it would appear) taking action; By the local education authority for not firing the teacher and disciplining the principal.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I get the feeling this isn't the full story. It says the kid threw a "tantrum". Did that perhaps include throwing a punch at the teacher? In that case I could understand the teacher pushing the kid away accidentally down the stairs.

I'm not excusing this teacher's behavior, but I think the article may be leaving out important stuff, because otherwise this teacher should be in prison.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Never hit people, be they children or adults, unless you are in the boxing ring. This teacher should face jail time for this assault.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It's amazing how acceptable violence against children still is. If this man had attempted to push a salaryman down a flight of stairs in a station and then slapped him across the face he would have been in very serious trouble. But if you do it to a 13-year-old kid at school you get a pay cut for 3 months. Whatever the kid did, the measures against the teachers were pathetic; a small pay cut is hardly "discipline".

Sadly, I will have to disagree with you. Some bosses here have no problems slapping around their staff and nothing gets done about it. Plenty of people go on about how nice and "safe" Japan is but it really isn't the case. I have personally seen fistfights between teachers and students here - JHS - and the cops were not called and none of the teachers nor the students punished in the eyes of the law. Smacking kids at school here is illegal but it isn't all the "odd" if you've spend time in any rough schools. The fact that this guy only got three months pay cut is a sign that this isn't taken seriously. A guy I worked with was moved to head office for abusing his kendo kids - a move than many saw as a promotion. Frankly, you touch a kid, you get fired in my opinion.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I know that some inner city schools can be tough work for teachers, yes the students can push your buttons, but knocking this student down a flight of stairs is just a bit to far!, as for the teacher, justified or not will this go down on his work record? will he be given an official warning over his conduct?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'd also take the parents in and question them and find out if this kid is being raised well. Doesn't sound it but certainly not an excuse for a teacher to do what this one did.

The victim-blaming mentality amongst some posters is astonishing. This is a 13 year old boy who was quite badly injured by a grown man. The man is a bully and a coward and the boy could have done nothing to warrant being pushed down stairs and hit. REALLY some people shouldnt be teaching.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Well when Judo teachers kill and maim regularly guess a push down the stairs and a slap is not such a big thing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Violence from teachers is not acceptable-it is a crime!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The victim-blaming mentality amongst some posters is astonishing.

Where did I or anyone blame this kid? However, it is clear from the article that something happened and it would be silly to assume a teacher just lost it on a kid for no reason. Check the behaviour of the kid and the parenting so this kid can get help if he needs it.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

This man should not have been teaching, and never should have been hired. You can bet there have been many, many kids before this one. Perhaps not shoved down stairs, but abused by him before his crimes were MADE PUBLIC.

Now the real question: Will this child abuser be charged with a crime? I can answer that - no he will not, or he would have already been arrested. I question as to why the parents have not been at the local school board every day demanding this animal be charged with child abuse and fired. The nail that sticks out ...

This is not an isolated case either. Bullying is part and parcel of the culture here. From childhood to adult life. I have seen many a store employee derided by management right on the sales floor. I have seen salarymen forced into izakaya against their wishes by older oyaji bullying them into more drinking. I have seen teachers humiliated publicly by principals for refusing to stand for a dopey song and flag. I have seen students forced to stand outside classrooms wearing signs like "I didn't do homework", "I failed a test", or "I am messy".

Again, why aren't the parents making some demands for justice for their child. This bowing and muttering "Sumimasendeshita" just can't hack it any more. It just really makes me wonder what the REAL story is here.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In my early days in Japan, I taught at a private junior high school that didn't take any crap from students, and didn't allow any of them to disrupt classes. There was a married couple, both experts in martial arts, who were called in to quell any student throwing a tantrum and/or threatening a teacher. A few times I witnessed them physically hauling male students out of a classroom. I didn't speak or understand any of the language at the time, so I never knew if they were hired as regular teachers, or as minders for the regular teachers. But I certainly did appreciate the swift and effective response to disciplinary problems, and I bet the parents did too.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

tmarieJul. 09, 2014 - 05:01PM JST

The victim-blaming mentality amongst some posters is astonishing.

Where did I or anyone blame this kid? However, it is clear from the article that something happened and it would be silly to assume a teacher just lost it on a kid for no reason. Check the behaviour of the kid and the parenting so this kid can get help if he needs it.

The article seems biased, completely omitting any details about what the kid actually did.

"Tantrum" covers a lot of ground, from holding your breath until you pass out to assaulting the teacher with an broomstick handle (and before you laugh that off as a trivial threat just think for a moment on how much damage a kid that's done kendo could do with a broomstick handle).

Teachers deserve a safe working environment, and without all the facts those calling for the teacher's dismissal really should hold fire and demand that the newspaper actually produce a less biased account with more details, because at the moment all we have here is a one-sided piece of character assassination that plays into the common belief that all Japanese teachers are abusive.

Of course that's kindof newspaper's normal routine isn't it? People don't want news, like "Teacher defends himself against knife-wielding student", they want olds like, "Abusive teacher throws kid down stairs for absolutely no reason".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I will also with hold my judgement....

I have worked in schools were students have given teachers black eyes, and kicked in their private parts. For these students normal discipline that Japanese teachers give, just don't work. The teacher could have just cracked.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I have worked in schools were students have given teachers black eyes, and kicked in their private parts. For these students normal discipline that Japanese teachers give, just don't work. The teacher could have just cracked.

In Virginia, where I work in a public school system, students are subject to battery laws under the State Code:

if any person commits a battery against another knowing or having reason to know that such other person is a full-time or part-time teacher, principal, assistant principal, or guidance counselor of any public or private elementary or secondary school and is engaged in the performance of his duties as such, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor and the sentence of such person upon conviction shall include a sentence of 15 days in jail, two days of which shall be a mandatory minimum term of confinement. However, if the offense is committed by use of a firearm or other weapon prohibited on school property pursuant to § 18.2-308.1, the person shall serve a mandatory minimum sentence of confinement of six months.

This helps to reduce the urge by teachers to retaliate because they know that they have legal backing to have the kid removed from school for at least two - and up to 15 - days. We don't have too many teachers in our school division getting charged with assault (there's been one I know of in my 17 years of working here) and we don't have many kids assaulting teachers. If Japan doesn't have a similar law regarding battery of teachers by students, perhaps they should consider one. It might reduce the teacher's urge to get violent in response to "tantrums".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

How can one be in hospital for 3 weeks with ligament damage???

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There is never any reason for a teacher to lash out physically, jumping to blame the child and his parents for a teacher losing control, "checking" on his upbringing is blaming the victim for this individual's loss of control. A child gets beaten up by a teacher, so you want them to go into the VICTIMS home and make sure his parents are doing a good job! Victim blaming.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Teachers deserve a safe working environment, and without all the facts those calling for the teacher's dismissal really should hold fire and demand that the newspaper actually produce a less biased account with more details, because at the moment all we have here is a one-sided piece of character assassination that plays into the common belief that all Japanese teachers are abusive.

Nope. Automatic dismissal. You don't throw a student down the stairs. Ever. Even in self defense. You also don't fight back the way this teacher did. I have seen teachers attacked here. I have seen some fight back and I have seen others restrain students. I can tell you which ones I respect and which ones I don't.

I agree that teachers deserve safe working environments - which is why I said this kid's home life and parents need to be looked at. I got accused of victim blaming though.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

tmarieJUL. 10, 2014 - 08:56AM JST

Nope. Automatic dismissal. You don't throw a student down the stairs. Ever. Even in self defense. You also don't fight back the way this teacher did.

This teacher pushed the student away. If the student was attacking the teacher then pushing the kid away is a good example of taking minimum defensive action. If the kid then stumbled and fl down the stairs then that is unfortunate but not entirely the teacher's fault, after all the kid would have chosen the place to assault the teacher.

I have seen teachers attacked here. I have seen some fight back and I have seen others restrain students. I can tell you which ones I respect and which ones I don't.

This teacher may not have attacked, he may have just been defending. You're leaping to a conclusion based on a blatantly one-sided account.

I agree that teachers deserve safe working environments - which is why I said this kid's home life and parents need to be looked at.

How about starting a little more immediately by looking at the student's actions during this altercation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Asahi reported that the teacher grabbed the boy by the neck and pushed him down a stairwell, after which he slapped him across the face.

Where do you see pushing in the above sentence?? Grabbing someone by the neck and pushing them down the stairs is not self defence.

I have already said the kid needs to be checked out so please don't sit here and assume I am taking the student's side automatically. The kid sounds like a punk who probably needed to be disciplined but this is not how you do it. You however are defended a teacher who grabbed a student by the neck, pushed him down stairs and slapped him. The worst student in the world does not deserve that. No one does.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

tmarieJUL. 10, 2014 - 03:50PM JST Asahi reported that the teacher grabbed the boy by the neck and pushed him down a stairwell, after which he slapped him across the face.

Where do you see pushing in the above sentence??

I don't know about you, but I see pushing right where it says "pushed".

Grabbing someone by the neck and pushing them down the stairs is not self defence.

Actually it is largely a matter of circumstance. If a mugger came at you on the stairs and you pushed them away then that would be self-defence. That they subsequently fell down the stairs is not your fault as they chose the place for the attack.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I see pushing AND grabbing the throat AND slapping. Your post made it sound like thought the teach only pushed which is clearly not the case. Frungy, no idea why you think this teacher did this all in self defence. Nothing in the article hints at that. If you want to defend this guy, fine but I am not going to agree with his behaviour towards a student, or actually, that behaviour towards anyone. I doubt you'd be okay with it if this was your child and a friend's child.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

tmarieJul. 10, 2014 - 06:31PM JST I see pushing AND grabbing the throat AND slapping. Your post made it sound like thought the teach only pushed which is clearly not the case.

And I can imagine a scenario where this teacher was defending himself, grabbed for the kid's collar but got his neck, pushed him away and he fell down the stairs and then rushed down to check he was okay but had to give the kid a slap to stop him from fighting so he could check he wasn't severely injured.

Of course we don't know how it went down because the article is so blatantly one-sided that it is impossible to tell anything about the student's actions, so the teacher's actions are without context.

Frungy, no idea why you think this teacher did this all in self defence. Nothing in the article hints at that. If you want to defend this guy, fine but I am not going to agree with his behaviour towards a student, or actually, that behaviour towards anyone. I doubt you'd be okay with it if this was your child and a friend's child.

Well you've actually hit on the problem, there's not even a hint about why the teacher did this at all. I find that highly suspicious and suspect. Just a vague reference to the kid throwing a "tantrum".

I'd not defending this guy, I'm defending common sense and the faintest hope of a little impartiality. This particular guy may be guilty as sin, I don't know... but here's the thing, neither do you, but you're terribly keen on condemning his actions without the faintest context as to why he did it. If you can't see the point by now then you never will.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

slapping a 13-year-old student and pushing him down a stairwell.

;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

down a stairwell:

Sounds like attempted murder or failed murder. Or attempted man slaughter.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You can "imagine" but why not just stick to the facts that we know?

Common sense is that a teacher who assults a student is fired. It doesn't matter if this teacher was attacked. You do not slap, choke and throw a student down the stairs.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

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