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Teacher slaps, headbutts 12-year-old student in Ehime

62 Comments

A school teacher in his 40s physically assaulted a 12-year-old junior high school student by slapping and headbutting him at the school in Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture, Japanese media reported Wednesday.

The student's mother has notified police, Fuji TV reported, though no action has yet been taken and the teacher remains at the school.

According to reports, the abuse occurred at Tsuda junior high school at around 4 p.m. on Dec 10, when the teacher reprimanded his students for misbehaving at school. The mother of the boy in question said the teacher took her son into a restroom, sharply pinching his cheek. Then he slapped the boy's face 20 times and headbutted him, threatening to kill him.

Before he let the boy go home, the teacher called the mother and said he had hit the boy a few times to discipline him. The woman said she thought her son might have misbehaved and that one or two slaps might not have been too bad. However, she said she was shocked when she saw her son. She said his face was swollen and he suffered headaches and neck pain. He has been told by doctors to rest at home for two weeks. His mother said he has also suffered psychological trauma.

The mother said she took photos of her son's face to to show police.

The next day, the teacher and the school principal visited the boy's parents to apologize and the mother recorded the conversation. The boy's father also asked the teacher if he had physically hit other students before and he said yes.

Police and the local education board said they are investigating the incident.

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62 Comments
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The boy’s father also asked the teacher if he had physically hit other students before and he said yes.

If that had been MY son I promise you the teacher would have looked alot worse than my son did.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Since parents aren't disciplining their kids they way they ought to, I suppose a "slap" from time-to-time would be okay. Not a headbutt though.

-16 ( +8 / -25 )

Agreed about lack of parental discipline. Taking the kid aside to give him a dressing down is one thing, but striking is way out of line

6 ( +10 / -5 )

I guess the teacher was having a bad day.

However, when you watch tv dramas here and also comedy, there sure is a lot of physical and mental abuse going on all the time.

2 ( +6 / -5 )

Stupid. An adult has no business beating up a child.

12 ( +15 / -2 )

So, I'm curious if this will be documented as a case of school bullying or is beating a 12-year-old around the head just considered excessive discipline? This thug should have been stripped of his teaching licence immediately! He should also be facing criminal assault charges! Kids will be kids! If a teacher does not have the patience or intelligence to control rambunctious kids without belting them around the head he or she should not be a teacher! I've seen quite a few incidents of teachers lashing out at kids over my years teaching in Japanese schools and I have always reported them resulting in reprimands for the teacher responsible. Kids do not go to school to be beaten into submission

6 ( +11 / -4 )

How much does anyone care to bet the teacher himself was hit when he was a student? No matter what the "rules" say he felt he was right, and that makes him wrong.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

shonanbbDEC. 16, 2015 - 01:51PM JST

I guess the teacher was having a bad day.

Good day or not, physical violence is not the answer. You don't beat another person because you're having a bad day, you especially don't beat a child.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

And this is national news, not crime... the mind boggles

6 ( +8 / -2 )

why hasn't the teacher been arrested yet? surely a crime has been committed. this wasn't corporal punishment, this was a beating.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Slapping a student several times (especially in the face) ... big NO-GO!!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Fire, convict and imprison this thug!

4 ( +10 / -6 )

If I was to do this to a kid misbehaving in my neighbourhood, I would be arrested immediately. Remember the combini guy who hit 2 teenagers recently? This guy should be arrested and fired, if this teacher is not disciplined and this is considered acceptable behaviour in schools here, I don't want my kids being exposed to it.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Nothing is going to happen to him. at a private school I used to teach at, a teacher got drunk, and at a station he saw and beat up one of our kids for not greeting him properly. He was fined, warned, and his salary dropped but he wasn't suspended. Years later, he became the head of the english department at the school and decided to fire all the foreigners working there. Welcome to the land of the rising sun

0 ( +0 / -0 )

why hasn't the teacher been arrested yet? surely a crime has been committed. this wasn't corporal punishment, this was a beating.

The parents in this case have to file a complaint with the police before he could be detained or arrested. Since he was not caught in the act the police can not arbitrarily arrest the guy.

So, if the parents decide to file a complaint, the police will investigate and then make the decision whether or not to arrest or detain the teacher in question.

And since the police are being reported as investigating, it probably also means that the parents have already filed the complaint against the teacher.

Police and the local education board said they are investigating the incident.

The BOE investigation means nothing here really, just a formality to cover their butts.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

A disgrace to his profession. I would also question his fitness as a parent.

This needs a drains up offical investigation, lost all self control. And remarkably this is not the first offence. The childs welfare must be the education authority top priority.

This sorry excuse for a teacher must be made an example of to deter any future offending.

If this child abuser is prepared to commit bodily harm to a minor he deserves no mercy.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

What is described in the article is actually a very serious criminal offence. If the teacher is not only still free, but furthermore still in his job.....wow.

Not sure if we are getting all the facts, but at the very least we seem to have a teacher with a history of abusing students and a student who suffered serious injuries at his hands. How is this guy not under arrest yet?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

A 'restraining order' should be in place, preventing this individual from approaching or contacting any specified person or making any attempt to enter the school premises.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

if any teacher slapped and head butted my child, well I would go and pay him or her a visit and let them know exactly what it would be like on the receiving end. this is a step way to far and he should be asked to step down from his post, immediately ! this is unforgivable, its just encouraging bulling, and shed loads of problems for the child.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

If true, I cannot believe this ABUSER is still in the classroom. WTH is wrong with Japan? Are there no laws against ASSAULT?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Not only does seemingly nobody think this is a big enough deal to really do anything about (except the parents of the child that got beaten), but you can also see how this will begin again anew the cycle of bullying within the student.

Japan!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can certainly sympathize with the teacher over the stress he must have been under.

But his actions….no way hose!!

-1 ( +1 / -3 )

The is no excuse to hit a child in the face- a grown man hitting a child over 20 times this is plain ABUSE!!!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Ummm... why is this guy not in prison already?? It is RIDICULOUS that he is still at the school, and indicative of Japan's complete inability to not only follow the rules, but for people here to keep their tempers in check in many cases. Corporal punishment became ILLEGAL a long time ago, and yet you still often hear about teachers hitting kids. Hurry up and make suspensions or teachers sending kids out of class an alternative method of discipline. For the kids whom I've heard dislike being in class and just go hang out in teachers' rooms -- expel them and call the police if they are on school grounds. Yes, all kids have a right to an education, but not when it is taking that right from everyone else. That said, you most certainly do NOT beat or even lay a hand on them as a form of discipline, EVER.

The fact that he hit the kid at all should be grounds for immediate suspension and subsequent firing, with his license revoked. The fact that he beat the kid savagely should be grounds for immediate incarceration. The fact that he also threatened the boy with death should be added jail time. The fact that the school not only is covering this up, but is keeping the man in question in its ranks should be grounds for the firing of the Principal, and a lawsuit against the school. The fact that the board has yet to take action despite recordings and definitive proof should be a lawsuit against them, as well.

What's being done instead? NOTHING but a bow, an apology, and likely a promise for a bit of money if the family lets it get swept under the carpet. Shame on the system! Shame on the police for not lugging the guy off to prison already.

Good on the woman for carefully documenting and recording what was said and done -- they can't weasel their way out of it and deny it now. Again, the guy should be in prison.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

WTH is wrong with Japan? Are there no laws against ASSAULT?

I suppose you then do not support due process? Let's just string up the teacher and let him swing, right?

Understanding the laws might make it easier on your blood pressure. You can rest assure that the teacher is not in the classroom and odds are pretty high he is at home awaiting the investigation by the police and what actions the BOE is going to take.

He could face charges, depending upon the parents and how they want to deal with the matter. IF the parents request that the police no charge the guy, chances are the police wont do anything, but if they do, he faces going before a judge for sentencing.

Odd as pretty high, if experience is any judge, that the guy gets fired, with all loss of benefits, and the city will pay compensation to the parents and that will pretty much be the end of it. The victim's parents have a big part to play in the criminal proceedings.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The next day, the teacher and the school principal visited the boy’s parents to apologize...

Crazy! The criminal commits a crime and then visits the victims to apologize? Nutty idea. Imagine if some one beat you up and then came to your house the next day! And the principal came too? Is he/she crazy? Sounds like they are all nuts to me! If someone did that to my child and showed up at my house maybe they wouldn't be able to walk out after! Sounds like they have a conspiracy of criminality down in Ehime.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I taught in tis school in the jet program and there were some hardcore yankeess who would do your head in but that doesnt really excuse slapping a kid around.Guess he just popped but inexcusable

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Um...do they generally excuse criminals in Japan? Seems pretty insane like a nightmare. Is the logic that it's a crime to assault adults but it' OK to assault children? Sounds like day is night and night is day in Ehime!!!!!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

YubaruDEC. 16, 2015 - 06:50PM JST WTH is wrong with Japan? Are there no laws against ASSAULT? I suppose you then do not support due process? Let's just string up the teacher and let him swing, right?

Yubaru, you're taking the unpopular position of calmly, rationally, and methodically following procedure, and I applaud you for it even if it's going to get you some downvotes.

That said, though this teacher should not necessarily be behind bars without a due process police investigation, there is no requirement that he be allowed to continue teaching. Even as the school investigates his case without firing him immediately, there is no excuse to have a potential threat to students' safety still in the classroom. The school could easily put him on administrative leave for a few days while they get to the bottom of what happened, and if it turns out he didn't do what he was accused of then he can return to the classroom with no harm done. The fact that they haven't done that should raise quite a lot of eyebrows.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Children here in Japan??? Most of them dont have proper discipline in their homes.... I think.

1 ( +4 / -4 )

Let me point out that Artcle 11 of the Education Law forbids taibatsu. That this law has been too often ignored is another matter.

3 ( +3 / -1 )

This lawlessness is bizarre...in a country so strict about so many things...to have a soft spot for child-abusers. Yes, they don't enforce laws because they think abusing children is not important? The abusers can even come to your house feeling no fear. I guess it's called impunity. I guess the principal should be in custody too and definitely terminated immediately.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I can understand the teacher's feeling. But I think he overreacted.****

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Maybe the kid deserved it...

Middle-schoolers can be really cheeky.

Back in my day, if we gave the teacher any lip, we'd get a good clip round the ear.

It never did us any harm!

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

@Yubaru

The parents in this case have to file a complaint with the police before he could be detained or arrested. Since he was not caught in the act the police can not arbitrarily arrest the guy.

That's a sad state of affairs. The government doesn't have a legal interest in restraining a dangerous criminal in the case of child abuse? This is another strange reality, if true. Seems like a dangerous community in which to live. I would probably have to pull my child out of school if I lived there, seeing as there is not much protection for the other children. I believe in some countries, the police could bring charges regardless of the victim in some cases. Japanese police don't seem afraid to torture people into confessions in other cases (and I am not advocating for that travesty of this system at all) but in this case the maniac can roam free? I guess Japan is a safe country unless your a child in a school!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

clueless - I can certainly sympathize with the teacher over the stress he must have been under.

No way! If you can't handle the stress of rambunctious kids you should not be working as a school teacher! It's that simple! There is no sympathy for physically abusing children for any reason. He is a thug and should be banned from ever entering a classroom gain! I only have sympathy for the kid and his parents. This fool is an educator, not a terminator!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

That's a sad state of affairs.

Is it really? For example here only, (in this case the teacher admitted the crime/abuse) lets say the teacher denies the charge and the parents press the police to act, and in fact the teacher is innocent, his career is ruined because of the accusation alone. (Happens alot here with men accused of groping btw)

but in this case the maniac can roam free?

So you too are willing to step on his rights, he may be at school but odds are very high he is not in contact with students and is awaiting disposition of the case.

You willing to toss him in jail and throw away the key before due process is carried out? It bugs me that people are unwilling to give people their right to due process and are willing to cut his head off before knowing ALL the facts.

Like it or not there is a process here that has to be followed. Sadly however JT has a VERY poor record of publishing followup reports regarding the disposition of cases like this. It would be nice to read here what happens.

If the parents file, and he is taken to trial and found guilty, give him an appropriate punishment and sentence. Losing his job is major, he'll never teach again.

Either way, even if the parents do not file, fire his ass, he deserves at least that much. Much let the process work it's way out before hanging him.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

My son is 12. If any teacher lays so much as a finger - just ONE! - on my son, I will need to be physically restrained from giving said teacher a bloody good hiding. Teachers are there to educate, not discipline, children. My son's education is their business, his discipline is mine!

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

verbal abuse is always worse than physical abuse but nobody's talking about the threat to kill ... The kid will recover from his minor injuries but that fear of being killed will be there forever

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

How much does anyone care to bet the teacher himself was hit when he was a student? No matter what the "rules" say he felt he was right, and that makes him wrong.

Not just the student-teacher interaction, but the child-parent interaction as well. Children grow up being treated a certain way and then treat THEIR children/students like they were treated. After 18 years of being treated a certain way, it becomes ingrained in them. "That's the way it was done to me, so that must be the right way to do it."

why hasn't the teacher been arrested yet? surely a crime has been committed. this wasn't corporal punishment, this was a beating.

Even corporal punishment is illegal in Japan (supposedly). I imagine police need to interrogate the teacher first before arresting him. Probably a mere formality seeing as the teacher is recorded admitting to the abuse and there are photos of the child's face. What IS outrageous is the teacher "remains at the school"! Hopefully he's just sitting at a desk in the office while the police finish up and not back in the classroom.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You willing to toss him in jail and throw away the key...

Not at all. I'm only saying the police should immediately investigate such a case regardless of whether parents bring charges. He should be arrested if there is clear evidence of criminality regardless of whether or not the parents decide to press charges. It sounds like the evidence is pretty clear here so he probably should have been arraigned. Probably. I admit I could have this wrong as I'm only drawing conclusions based on the general sketch provided by the article. Furthermore, that the principal and perpetrator can walk over to the house the next day shows that something is quite bizarre in the way this heinous crime is viewed by the community. The principal should also face suspension and, perhaps, criminal charges as well. Or, at least, there should be some statue requiring school management to immediately alert authorities when such a grave crime is committed under their supervision. Why the tolerance here? If the teacher had walked into class and smoked a joint, would he be roaming around free? Would the principal be still showing up to work as normally?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So let me get this straight. You are happy to let a man, a grown man, hit your children in the name of 'discipline' are you? This is appropriate in a civilised society, is it...?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

So let me get this straight. You are happy to let a man, a grown man, hit your children in the name of 'discipline' are you? This is appropriate in a civilised society, is it...?

It used to be... back in the 60's and 70's teachers were allowed to physically discipline students in the U.S. They had to have the parents permission and the discipline involved a paddle and the student's gluteus maximus, but it WAS allowed. No more.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Is the law in this area murky? How is it so many teachers think this approach to "discipline" is OK? You can't discipline a child by acting like a child. They courts should make an example of this teacher and principal.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm with Geoff Gillespie on this one, heaven help anyone who assaults my kids.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Chris glen:

"Taking the kid aside to give him a dressing down is one thing, but striking is way out of line"

I wouldn't want a teacher dressing down my child either. Only person dressing down should be parents if child can't do it himself and doctors.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

In my time, at school it was usual to get slapped in the face or even being hit with a ruler or have other types of corporal punishment........when coming home, the same punishment awaited me...... Now, did it make me a bad person, I don't think so. Never the less even if I think that a slap from time to time doesn't hurt (except the student's pride), what happened here is far too much. That teacher should be suspended or even fired and in anyways prosecuted......

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Before I start let me first point out that I believe in corporal punishment, however hitting a child around the head and headbutting him or her is taking things way too far. This teacher should face criminal charges if that is the case.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"no action has yet been taken and the teacher remains at the school"

And also please note that this article is NOT in the CRIME section...

Welcome to Japan everyone!! :-)

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Jeff Gilespie: I agree that any teacher who lays a hand on child should be duly dealt with but non-abusive discipline should be implemented more in schools. Discipline builds character and self control and it should be taught early on at home and school.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There are many forms of discipline and a good number of them do not involve the physical assault of a minor.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I'm with Geoff Gillespie on this one, heaven help anyone who assaults my kids.

Understand the sentiments, but what are you going to do? Hit the teacher back? Then have yourself land in jail too and leave your kid without a parent for a few years maybe, not to mention the legal hassles and work related issues, like loss of income, for what?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

FadamorDEC. 17, 2015 - 04:55AM JST There are many forms of discipline and a good number of them do not involve the physical assault of a minor.

Indeed. What's the message you want the child to learn when they do wrong:

We have rules and morals for a reason and I should think about how my actions affect others, or...

Whoever is biggest gets to make the rules for whoever is smaller and the small should obey the big because if they don't they'll get beaten.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I'm with Geoff Gillespie on this one, heaven help anyone who assaults my kids.

Since the legal system has been many time compared to a medieval one, it is very possible that the teacher will be left in total impunity if he has some social weight in the community while you might get arrested. One just need to browse a few court cases in JT to have the impression that legal justice, here, seems to be more like a hit or miss rather than based on common sense.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

When a teacher disciplines a student, he should not be alone with the student and supervised by the principal. A meeting should then be held with everyone later to discuss the students behavior with the parents. If the student is seriously unruly and disruptive, they give a warning and put up for expulsion, or visa versa if the teacher is being unfair and prejudiced against the student, it is brought up and discussed between principal and parents, and if appropriate warning measures against the teacher.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

why hasn't the teacher been arrested yet? surely a crime has been committed. this wasn't corporal punishment, this was a beating.

For once we are in agreement

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The principal here is also at fault and should not be allowed to continue in the job. He/she showed very poor judgement, poor enough to disqualify them from employment in the field of education. What were they thinking to show up with the criminal at the victims house the next day? My guess is that they thought this could be swept under the rug - which shows their incompetence as an educator. Japan has a lot of problems now and education is at the top of the list. I wouldn't be surprised if this occurs more frequently than is reported as the education system in Japan is so dysfunctional and unhealthy. Probably they need to start over from scratch.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just FYI for the people talking about other forms of punishment...they don't exist in Japan. That is part of the problem.

Explusion is illegal in junior high school, as is suspension. Even sending a student out of the classroom is illegal, or so I was told by teachers in Japan (they have a constitutional right to be in the classroom). You cannot give them a failing grade, they could skip every day of school and still graduate. Giving them extra homework is an exercise in futility because of the previous point (they will just laugh and rip it up).

Really it comes down to the parents. If the parents care, the child will behave. If not, the teacher has no recourse. When I see comments here saying "discipline is my business, education is yours" I applaud that way of thinking, but sadly it is nowhere near universal. In fact Japanese parents have become more of the helicopter parents we see nowadays. They will cause a fuss and threaten the school for every single little thing.

I once heard that some parents called a school angry that their child was not the lead in the school play. In the end, instead of telling the parent to act like an adult, the play was changed so that every child was the lead...insanity.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Jim Borden Yes. I once had a Junior High teacher tell me they needed therapy to make it through the job. They said it was a nightmare. When uni students tell me they want to be teachers, I look at them with pity. It's got to be one of the worst jobs out there. I've met people who quit after a few years from the stress and went to work in offices where at least they have a chance at a weekend and being left alone. I'm pretty harsh on anyone that strikes a child. But I recognize that this system is broken. It's a bullying system so the problem is likely systemic. That the principal in this case thought bringing the perpetrator to the house was a good idea, speaks volumes about the irrationality of the system and its actors.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Slapping anyone else's kid 20 times, headbutting them and threatening to kill them ,or any person for that matter, is nothing less than criminal. The fact that he took the boy to the bathroom shows he intended on doing something he was not supposed to do.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I saw this kind of crap twice when I taught at a all boys day school.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"he... SLAPPED the boy’s face TWENTY TIMES and HEADBUTTED him, threatening to KILL him"

Well done to the parents for reporting it!!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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