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Teacher tapes up mouth of girl, 7, to stop her spreading germs

135 Comments

A school teacher put duct tape over the mouth of a seven-year-old girl to stop her spreading germs to other pupils, Sankei Shimbun reported Thursday.

The male teacher taped up the girl's mouth as she readied to serve lunch to others in her class in Tochigi, north of Tokyo, because she had forgotten to bring her own face mask, the paper reported.

Japanese schoolchildren serve and eat their school lunches in their own classrooms. Most schools require them to cover their mouth and nose while they serve.

The teacher apologized to the girl and her parents, the paper said, after an anonymous call was made to school authorities.

© (C) 2013. AFP

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135 Comments
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Sounds to me like this teacher needs to have punishment in kind.

8 ( +19 / -11 )

What is going through this man's mind???????

15 ( +17 / -2 )

What is going through this man's mind???????

Do you really want to know?

14 ( +17 / -3 )

sillygirl

What is going through this man's mind?

Not much, but let me take a stab at it.

He's thinking a) food servers need masks - it's the rule. b) it is this girl's turn to serve food; no substitutes ~ it's the rule. c) she doesn't have a mask; server's need a mask ~ it's the rule. d) what does the mask cover? The mouth. (and, he didn't notice, the nose). Therefore, given a) b) c) and d), I'll tape her mouth closed (but not her nose) and tada! all the rules have been followed. Because thinking is Haaard!

47 ( +51 / -4 )

Respect to the anonymous caller.

29 ( +32 / -3 )

"while preferably being held in a place where dropping the soap in the shower would be cause for a painful backdoor experience".

Really? Jail time for this? All the other crap happening in this country and you think he should go to jail?

Reprimand, yes. Suspended, possibility. Fired, maybe. Jail, nope.

22 ( +23 / -2 )

A practical response to the situation, well done.

-5 ( +7 / -11 )

I had teachers way worse than him

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Borscht, You hit the nail on the head with that one. Another example of totally and unable to think outside of the box.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Really? Jail time for this? All the other crap happening in this country and you think he should go to jail? Reprimand, yes. Suspended, possibility. Fired, maybe. Jail, nope.

You want to know why? It's an assault, and assault upon a child no less. What happens if the child had a stuffy nose? Couldn't breathe? Any assorted situations where this seemingly mild to your way of thinking, incident could very have well turned into something much worse.

This so-called teacher has no place being in a classroom, and I will give odds that if a little research is done this teacher has done other things to kids as well that are "not" in the guidebook for proper teaching.

He's thinking a) food servers need masks - it's the rule. b) it is this girl's turn to serve food; no substitutes ~ it's the rule. c) she doesn't have a mask; server's need a mask ~ it's the rule. d) what does the mask cover? The mouth. (and, he didn't notice, the nose). Therefore, given a) b) c) and d), I'll tape her mouth closed (but not her nose) and tada! all the rules have been followed. Because thinking is Haaard!

He could have taken the child's place if this is what he is so concerned about.

2 ( +12 / -10 )

I'd be curious to hear what he said in his apology to the girl and her parents. I wonder if he really thinks he did anything wrong.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Oh for once I can speak from personal experience - me and my kindergarden mates got our mouths taped for being too energetic at preschool in the 70ties in Europe. Mind you all parents including mine complained to the school board immediately (and not anonymously) and the teacher, a young overwhelmed woman, was removed immediately. Not that it was a life-destroying event but it's one of the things I'll never forget, the difficulty of breathing and the screaming teacher, I still know what she was wearing. The teacher should be removed from his duties because a person who uses that kind of humiliation is not fit for the job

17 ( +17 / -0 )

There is absolutely no excuse for what he did.

Apart from it being an incredibly unsafe, unprofessional and somewhat unhinged thing to do, this teacher could easily have gone to the staff room (or sent a kid) to get one of the many disposable face masks which would have been rattling around there, left over from all the flu epidemics.

He deserves demotion, and to not be put in charge of children without supervision for the foreseeable future - except that that won't happen. I hope the children's parents - all of them - kick up a massive stink.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

I have seen a piece of paper taped to the students cheeks for the students who forgot their mask. If students could get out of lunch time duty.. just by forgetting their mask, lunch would never be served.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

No wonder bullying goes unchecked by teachers and administrators -- they dish it out as well! This guy is a moron. Does he not realize 'germs' can come out from the nose just as easily when exhaling? And I'm sorry, the whole mask thing is a crock to begin with.

Yubaru: I would say the guy deserves to be canned, and if not he deserves to be relegated to some lowly office somewhere after a suspension and mandatory sensitivity training (if it exists here), but I'm not sure in this case the 'crime' is jail-worthy.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Personally, it sounds like this teacher has been going at it too long and has lost touch of reality.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Yubaru,

He could have taken the child's place if this is what he is so concerned about.

Yes, he could have IF he used his brain. On the other hand, the children distribute the food ~ it's the rule.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

I understand she needed to do something to prevent spreading germs but what she did was not acceptable. She should have asked if other students had masks or forbid student to serve the food on that day.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Some facts the article left out. Despite being warned by the teacher, the girl forgot to bring her own mask for four consecutive days between June 24th and June 27th this year. So the teacher had her do work that did not require a mask. But on the 27th the teacher made her do work that required a mask (serve lunch). So the teacher used duct tape measuring 3X5 centimeters. He immediately determined this was wrong so he peeled off the duct tape and had her use a four fold tissue paper attached by cellophane tape. This cellophane tape was attached to her face for about 10 minutes.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

How about simply borrowing a mask from another kid? That is what happens in my daughter's Jr. High. They SUPPORT each other!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Japanese schoolchildren serve and eat their school lunches in their own classrooms. Most schools require them to cover their mouth and nose while they serve.

Why are children serving lunch to other children in the first place? What does this teach. To me this just goes along with the way I see things in Japan, in regards to not thinking things through. So she didn't have a mask to serve food, yet she was in the same classroom breathing and talking. I hate to tell the teacher this, but the germs (if she had any) would also travel every time she exhales her breath or opens her mouth.

How about this, have the students bring their lunch or even better, have them go to a seperate room or cafeteria and have lunch served by a professional, and let the kids be a kid.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

Why not just pull the girl from the lunch serving duty and replace her with another student...?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Crazy Joe: While these details were not in the JT article, there is nothing at all in this additional information that makes what he did any more acceptable.

If a 7-year-old girl is not communicating school requirements to her family, there is a reason. That teacher should have taken different steps. He lacks common sense, compassion, and any kind of sensible thought process.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Alphaape, it teaches the kids responsibility.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

This teacher is an idiot (plain and simple). He needs to be punished administratively and do more than just apologize to the parents; perhaps money for restitution. Imagine if this had been a foreign teacher (hells bells)....

1 ( +5 / -4 )

@Alphaape it teaches group mentality, and the teacher, ladies and gentlemen common sense has left the building!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

As Mr. T famously said:" I pity da fool" who would do this to one of my kids.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@Gretchen Shinoda

How about simply borrowing a mask from another kid?

I would imagine that would be an even quicker way to spread any germs - if there were any to begin with.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The action and thought are questionable. Difficult thing to decide between ridiculous, scandalous, shabby ... But this story reveals the many flaws of our so-called modern societies. The pathological obsession with cleanliness, led to this kind of idiocy and much more. But at the same time the abuse of drugs, detergents and pesticides is one of the main causes of the destruction of the ecosystem. Who will put duct tape on the mouth of Fukushima? Is there really no other way to stop these self destructive madness?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Fighting Viking: As you know, most people carry disposable masks, and several kids will have a supply of them in their personal belongings, as the masks are sold in packets of 5 or 10.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Thinking outside the box

What kind of Western heresy is this?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

First, why use kids instead of adults?

Because it does teach civic responsibility, collective duty and ownership.

Second, why not use another kid?

Because it effectively rewards Kid 1, who clearly has a less than normal sense of responsibility.

Third, why not get another mask.

See above.

Fourth, isn't it dangerous?

There is, of course, elevated risk, but she should be able to breathe through the mask substitute. Yes, the safe play would be to wimp out, but what would that teach.

Fifth, isn't humiliation a bad idea?

In this specific case, probably not. The alternative is to have no consequences.

Conclusion: Nothing worth punishment.

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

School should have prepared extra sanitary face masks in case of children sometimes forget them instead of duct tape.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

thanks for the background info @crazyjoe. it does explain why the teacher wasn't punished more severely. from this article it implied that she wore the duct tape for a long period of time. he still did an asinine thing by using that in the first place, but it wasn't torture or anything.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This child-abuser should not be allowed within 500m of any school. I just hope the poor girl has recovered from this trauma.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

@Maria

As you know

Actually, I didn't know ! (They don't very often wear masks at the French school and meals are served by professionals, not the children, in a dining room). But anyway, if most students carry packets of 10-15 masks, it seems difficult to believe her parents didn't check if she had any left. Anyway, as borscht so eloquently put it, this teacher is a moron.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Mental! I would have a fit if it were my child.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

PS. I guess the word "borrow" put me off...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

it effectively rewards Kid 1, who clearly has a less than normal sense of responsibility.

The child is 7 years old. if Mum fails to see she has what she needs when she goes to school in the morning, what's the 'responsible' child supposed to do? Refuse to go to school? Take a mask off another kid by force? Sue Mum? How about tell Sir she 'forgot' her mask - teacher is aware of the problem, Mum (in the sensible world of adults Sir has obviously never been to) gets contacted and reminded not to forget next time.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

The Japanese solution will be to instate a rule that Teachers are from now on not allowed to tape up children's mouths with duct tape

2 ( +2 / -0 )

These masks cost about 10 yen each...wouldn't the school have a box of them lying around somewhere? The tape was excessive to say the least.... Personally I don't want to eat food served by grubby 7 year olds. LOL

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Did he sterilize the roll of tape before picking up with his hands and plastering her with it?

6 ( +6 / -1 )

Alphaape, it teaches the kids responsibility.

You teach kids responsiblity at home first. By the time a kid is in school, they should have been taught to be responsible enough to go to school, sit and learn, and not be a disturbance to other children trying to learn. Also learning their lesson and understanding what is required of them also teaches responsiblity.

If this has been the norm in Japanese schools, then why is it that I have run into so many adults here in Japan (male and femaile) who can't do a simple thing like make themselves a simple meal or are able to live alone.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Trauma? It sounds like a small issue, blown out of proportion by over protective parents. I was caned and strapped at school, and while I don't support beating kids, it DID teach me (eventually) the reality of consequences and responsibility. Not a large deal in my opinion.

4 ( +9 / -6 )

Row Bur: Thanks, one of the more sensible comments on this post.

To ask for jail time, firing, etc is extreme, especially if CrazyJoe's added information is true. I'm sure most of us over 40 remember being subjected to some sort of humiliation/punishment by teachers (standing in the corner, chalk throwing, etc) and while upsetting at the time, many of us turned out all right. And to be clear, I'm not condoning physical harm to students/teachers in any way, shape or form.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Hey journalist, "Tochigi" is a big place.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Just try to imagine your child going through this experience at the age of seven. Imagine the humiliation the other kids laughing at your child. This is child abuse. This teacher has no right being a teacher. He should loose his license or at the very least be put on probation.

There's going to come a time in Japan that simply saying saying " I'm sorry "will not cut it!

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

As a classroom teacher for over twenty years, I am appalled by the actions of this teacher. He or she should not be working with children. Why were there no extra face masks available? Surely this is not the first time that a child has forgotten a mask. The actions of the teacher were abusive, and he or she should be fired.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

A simple thing has made a headline followed by lots of comments. The teacher did not have a common sense. At least few extra masks should have been kept in the class/school for emergency. If it was not possible by any reason, he could ask another student to serve food in place of the girl so that she could serve food the next day when comes to school with a mask.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think everyone should take a look at more details of this incident.

http://www.j-cast.com/2013/07/03178660.html?p=1

Non-Japanese readers can google translate the page, I believe.

The additional points are:-

The teacher apologized to the student and phoned the student's parents and mentioned that he wanted to visit the parent's home to apologize. The student's mother said that there was no need for the visit nor an apology as it was the child'd fault for forgetting to take the required mask to school 4 days in a row, and that she did not want to make a big deal of this issue. Furthermore on the following day, a letter written by the child and her mother was delivered to the teacher whith the comment that they were also at fault and did not want the teacher to have bad feelings over the incident and that the child still likes this teacher very much. The board of education got involved, and issued a reprimand to the teacher stating that the tape incident was inappropriate, however that they will not pursue this matter any further.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

"Tochigi" is a big place

Kanuma, apparently.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Why is this not in the 'Crime' section. This is obviously some level of child abuse.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

It doesn't cease to amaze me how a simple apology (preferably with a distraught face and a few dozens of bows for better effect) seemingly can fix everything in Japan. This teacher should not be in this profession!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Thanks Onsen, now we are getting closer to the reality.

'Wasuremono' is one of the greatest sins and avoidance of forgetfulness has to be drummed into every child from nursery school onward. What the teacher did was a symbolic show in order to make a point.

I am sorry that this had to be reported anonymously, and I am sorry that it had to be blown up way out of proportion. Another weakness of the system here is that the response has to be exaggerated in order to appease some 'shocked' whistle blower who lodges a 'claim', and bored PTA members.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

All the young people will be using masks :(

2 ( +2 / -0 )

My daughter is always forgetting to take items to school and it is frustrating. What the teacher did was wrong but nothing that great to cause such a commotion. Even the parents weren't that concerned. On a further note to the commentators, this is Japan and the students are taught to take responsibility for many things within the school that other students in foreign countries take for granted. Serving of food, cleaning , helping each other. I have taught in schools in NZ , the UK , China and Japan and I have to admire the participation of students in school life here. There are some things that Japan can teach us.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

I don't say what the teacher did is right but the schools in this country doesn't have any system in place to reprimand school children! Add the monster parents and over-worked teachers who are more baby-seaters than academics and you get the picture.

There is no effective way to suspend for not obeying rules, etc. etc.

When I was at school we could repeat a school year for bad marks or behavior.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

As usual, the JT community getting their knickers in a knot over a non-event. Yes, the teacher made a stupid mistake - as do we all at some point in our lives. He immediately realised his mistake, and rectified it. He admitted his mistake to the parents and apologised, and they were honest enough to admit their own guilt in not bringing the mask.

The teacher, parent and child all seem to be reasonable people who learnt something from this unfortunate incident. It would be nice if us armchair critics could take something positive away from this too, instead of crying child-abuse every chance we get.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

This idiot, a teacher no less, has duct tape readily available but, no face masks?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

And I am sure that teacher goes toilet and doesnt wash his hand!! Have you noticed how Japanese men wash their hand in toilet? most of the time they even dont bother!!!??? I wonder he couldn't put another student on duty and give her another chance? Oh ya kids must be disciplined, kids are supposed to enjoy their school while learning!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

this teacher must be a clean freak of some sort.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Guess I am a minority here, but I find the story simply typical Japanese. The teacher is not evil, he was simply following the rules, or what he perceived to be the rules. And that takes precedence over common sense -- everybody who lives here has seen something like that.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The child is 7 years old. if Mum fails to see she has what she needs when she goes to school in the morning, what's the 'responsible' child supposed to do? Refuse to go to school? Take a mask off another kid by force? Sue Mum? How about tell Sir she 'forgot' her mask - teacher is aware of the problem, Mum (in the sensible world of adults Sir has obviously never been to) gets contacted and reminded not to forget next time.

Just because you are young does not mean, IMO, that you can push all responsibility to everyone else. You might notice that according to CrazyJoe's information, this is not exactly a first offence either, and the first few times the teacher just made her do other work. It seems that the "gentle" approach so advocated by most of JapanToday's community is not working.

Instilling a sense of responsibility and understanding that there are consequences for failing to live up to your responsibilities starts at a young age. If we take your approach, that's pushing the responsibility to Mom, which does not help Kid grow.

You teach kids responsiblity at home first. By the time a kid is in school, they should have been taught to be responsible enough to go to school, sit and learn, and not be a disturbance to other children trying to learn. Also learning their lesson and understanding what is required of them also teaches responsiblity.

Precisely. Obviously, this kid is a little below norm, and teacher is trying to correct this early. He should be commended, not punished.

Just try to imagine your child going through this experience at the age of seven. Imagine the humiliation the other kids laughing at your child. This is child abuse. This teacher has no right being a teacher. He should loose his license or at the very least be put on probation.

Yes, she will be humiliated. Sometimes, however, humiliation is a very good teacher. We are forgetting this and constantly trying to treat kids as if they are made of glass. The end result is that too many of them come out as though they are made of glass, and don't react well when hit with reality.

As a classroom teacher for over twenty years, I am appalled by the actions of this teacher. He or she should not be working with children. Why were there no extra face masks available? Surely this is not the first time that a child has forgotten a mask. The actions of the teacher were abusive, and he or she should be fired.

Let me deal with all the "Where are the extra masks?" questions here.

Even if there are extra masks available, how many of you guys think this is a good solution to the problem? It tells the kid that there are no consequences for forgetting, that there will always be extras for people who forget. In effect, it almost rewards people for forgetting. Surely, this is not the correct direction for conditioning.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Serving of food, cleaning , helping each other. I have taught in schools in NZ , the UK , China and Japan and I have to admire the participation of students in school life here. There are some things that Japan can teach us.

It must leave them as soon as they graduate, since I see many adults here who would go out of there way to not help anyone who seems to be down or in need of help. More along the lines of not wanting to get involved and the other party "should have known better."

I would imagine that in some other places, like USA or Canada, another child would have helped out the kid, something about being a "team player."

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Seems bad what the teacher did, but in Japan a rule is a rule its there for a purpose.

It all boils down to a one kid who forgot a mask spreading some illness to her classmates who will in turn spread it to their family members who will in turn take it to their work places.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The over-reaction was not here on JT, but what the teacher did.

@Kazuaki Shimazaki:

Obviously, this kid is a little below norm, and teacher is trying to correct this early. He should be commended, not punished.

So, you think that if a child has developmental / learning difficulties, trouble communicating with adults, or even perhaps a troubled family life, or is simply a bit scattered - as we all can be for godssakes! - taping her mouth shut is the right way to help her?

After only (let's face it, not that long) 4 days, it's time to give up on other approaches, give up on communication, and settle on public humiliation? That's a crap teacher right there, and I wouldn't want him educating my children.

Anyone who thinks 10 minutes is not a short time to have your mouth taped - you try it. Go ahead, I can wait, no problem.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

So, you think that if a child has developmental / learning difficulties, trouble communicating with adults, or even perhaps a troubled family life, or is simply a bit scattered - as we all can be for godssakes! - taping her mouth shut is the right way to help her?

You're making a lot of assumptions there Maria, and you're missing the entire point. The tape wasn't some form of punishment - the teacher was simply looking for a substitute for a mask and made an admittedly stupid decision in using duct tape - which he immediately realised was wrong.

I suppose you've lived a perfect life where you've never done anything you immediately regretted? Give the guy a break. He made a stupid mistake. He apologised. The girl and mother accepted the apology. No hard feelings. End of story.

You think hanging him out to dry will help this girl? I imagine the national coverage of this incident will give this girl more pyschological scars than the act itself.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Just because you are young does not mean, IMO, that you can push all responsibility to everyone else. You might notice that according to CrazyJoe's information, this is not exactly a first offence either, and the first few times the teacher just made her do other work.

So, Mum doesn't buy the needed masks, there are no masks in the house for the child to bring to school. The fact that this is a 'repeated offence' suggests that maybe there was no mask for the child to bring. So, I ask again, what is the 'responsible' 7-year-old supposed to do? Get a part-time job so that she can buy her own masks? Or perhaps the teacher could have shown a bit of responsibility by contacting Mum after the second 'offence' and reminding her of what was needed.

If we take your approach, that's pushing the responsibility to Mom

But it is Mum's responsibility to buy the masks in. If she doesn't do her bit, the most responsible 7-year-old in the world can do nothing. (apart from get that part-time job...)

Even if there are extra masks available, how many of you guys think this is a good solution to the problem?

(Raises hand, rolls eyes and mutters 'duh...')

It tells the kid that there are no consequences for forgetting

It tells the kid that Sir has got her back. What's wrong with that? Elementary schools keep a supply of underwear for when first and second graders wet themselves - they shouldn't wet themselves of course, but it happens and the teacher has to deal with it. The child gets to keep the new underwear, and the parent is expected to donate a brand-new substitute as soon as possible. Maybe you think tinies whose bladder control isn't quite up to speed for their age should sit in their wet undies all day? That'd teach 'em the consequences of having a weak bladder, and the humiliation will work wonders for tightening up the sphincter!

Yes, she will be humiliated

Stop right there. Reason enough not to do it. Kids go to school to learn, not to be humiliated.

one kid who forgot a mask spreading some illness to her classmates

There is no suggestion in any of the vernacular reports that I have seen that the child had any illness she was in danger of passing on. if she was ill, she shouldn't have been anywhere near the meal being served, mask or no mask.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

@papasmurf: I have not suggested sacking, suspension or in fact any kind of public humiliation as a penalty - nobody has been named in the press, have they?

I have already said that I think "he deserves demotion [a moot point in elementary schools] and to not be put in charge of children without supervision for the foreseeable future" because if all he could think of was this, he really needs the extra training.

The girl is 7 - bless her heart if she reads the papers and watches telly enough to know if this has hit the national headlines.

I suppose you've lived a perfect life where you've never done anything you immediately regretted?

For one thing, ten minutes is not immediate. For another thing, when a person or group of people is in charge of a group of children, I certainly do expect perfection, yes. That's what they have been trained to do, that is what they are paid to do, and that is what they are there to do.

And if you taped my kid's mouth up, I'd make sure you hated seeing me at the school office.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Instilling a sense of responsibility and understanding that there are consequences for failing to live up to your responsibilities starts at a young age. If we take your approach, that's pushing the responsibility to Mom, which does not help Kid grow.

Remind me again what was the sentence passed on the guys who hid billions of losses at Olympus?

Sometimes, however, humiliation is a very good teacher. We are forgetting this and constantly trying to treat kids as if they are made of glass.

What exactly is humiliation supposed to teach? Abuse as a way to build sound individuals? Give me a break!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

alphaape: How about this, have the students bring their lunch or even better, have them go to a seperate room or cafeteria and have lunch served by a professional, and let the kids be a kid.

I don't know what planet you're from but on the one I grew up on, learning responsibility, helping out with tasks and seeing how things are done, both at home and at school, was part of being a kid and I'd venture to say that none of us suffered or felt deprived in any way for having been made to do so.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Oh my god! That's shocking!

The Teacher simply could have given her a face mask. Surely the school would have a supply in the "Sick bay" or "Nurses office" or whatever they call it here!

Cruel!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

So, Mum doesn't buy the needed masks, there are no masks in the house for the child to bring to school. The fact that this is a 'repeated offence' suggests that maybe there was no mask for the child to bring. So, I ask again, what is the 'responsible' 7-year-old supposed to do? Get a part-time job so that she can buy her own masks? Or perhaps the teacher could have shown a bit of responsibility by contacting Mum after the second 'offence' and reminding her of what was needed.

You seem to be working very hard to find the best case scenario for kid, when it is more probable that the kid simply wasn't adequately motivated by the non-existent punishments (assignment to other work) to make the extra effort to remember to tell Mom she needs masks.

If we are to generously assume there were no masks available at home and entreaties to her mom does not deliver them, then maybe kid can, in a sobbing (of if she has better emotion control, even matter of fact) tone, tell Teacher "(Sob) Sir, there are simply no ... (sob) ... masks in my home." As far as we know, this did not happen.

But it is Mum's responsibility to buy the masks in. If she doesn't do her bit, the most responsible 7-year-old in the world can do nothing. (apart from get that part-time job...)

It has not even been established that Mom didn't buy masks!

It tells the kid that Sir has got her back. What's wrong with that?

Sir has got her back is nice. Not so nice is that when you think someone got your back, you tend to stop looking at it. In real life, in most cases, you have to watch your own back. Might as well start instilling this one early.

Elementary schools keep a supply of underwear for when first and second graders wet themselves - they shouldn't wet themselves of course, but it happens and the teacher has to deal with it. The child gets to keep the new underwear, and the parent is expected to donate a brand-new substitute as soon as possible. Maybe you think tinies whose bladder control isn't quite up to speed for their age should sit in their wet undies all day? That'd teach 'em the consequences of having a weak bladder, and the humiliation will work wonders for tightening up the sphincter!

In this case, there is a sanitary concern, and by grade 1 most kids AFAIK will be at least somewhat embarassed at having wet themselves in the first place even if panties are immediately available, so the humiliation and "I really didn't want to do this" part can be assumed to be automatic and there is no need to add salt into the wound.

Stop right there. Reason enough not to do it. Kids go to school to learn, not to be humiliated.

Precisely, they go there to learn. Sometimes, a moderate amount of humiliation is the best learning-motivator. We forget this and wonder why kids seem to mature later and later.

So, you think that if a child has developmental / learning difficulties, trouble communicating with adults, or even perhaps a troubled family life, or is simply a bit scattered - as we all can be for godssakes! - taping her mouth shut is the right way to help her?

Let's not assume this just to make things better for the child. Nothing of the sort popped up yet.

Further, even if she has such difficulties, the reality is that she has to live in the world of normals, unless she wants to admit her difficulties are so severe she should be sent to some protected home or mental institute (so much for a reasonably good life). Even if she has minor difficulties that require extra effort to work up to norm, the necessity of making said extra effort should be instilled. Otherwise, it is to her detriment.

After only (let's face it, not that long) 4 days, it's time to give up on other approaches, give up on communication, and settle on public humiliation? That's a crap teacher right there, and I wouldn't want him educating my children.

It is already her 4th offence. I'll say an escalation in the measures applied should come up.

Anyone who thinks 10 minutes is not a short time to have your mouth taped - you try it. Go ahead, I can wait, no problem.

It wasn't duct-taped but for the shortest time - most of the ten minutes she was only forced to wear a crude mask substitute.

I have already said that I think "he deserves demotion [a moot point in elementary schools] and to not be put in charge of children without supervision for the foreseeable future" because if all he could think of was this, he really needs the extra training.

Extra training to do what. To not take any decisive measures against kids on their 4th offence?

Remind me again what was the sentence passed on the guys who hid billions of losses at Olympus?

In terms of the official crime rate statistics, IIRC Japan is still on the low end in the OECD. And for all you know, that guy was the victim of a teacher who took exactly the wimp-out measures you advocate when he was young, thus he wasn't brought up right.

What exactly is humiliation supposed to teach? Abuse as a way to build sound individuals? Give me a break!

Humiliation is a mental equivalent to pain and can be used as a form of negative conditioning. It teaches: Don't forget, or there will be unpleasant consequences.

It must leave them as soon as they graduate, since I see many adults here who would go out of there way to not help anyone who seems to be down or in need of help. More along the lines of not wanting to get involved and the other party "should have known better."

Don't be so optimistic. The bystander effect was discovered in the West. But I suppose that Japanese, with their greater average introversion and greater sense of uchi-soto are more vulnerable to it.

Still, at least this does not sound like a problem that was worsened by instilling these group responsibilities into the kids.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

This teacher needs to be hog tied and get plenty of duct tape around this evil bastard hentai Japanese teacher!! I wish he tried something even remotely similar to my kids!! This teacher would be wishing he was never ever born!! Stupid masks are dirt cheap!! This stupid bastard should have boxes and boxes of them just in case a child FORGETS his or her own!!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The girl is 7 - bless her heart if she reads the papers and watches telly enough to know if this has hit the national headlines.

No but her parents do, and the parents of her friends do - If you don't think that information will trickle down, then yes, they really do have some communication problems.

For one thing, ten minutes is not immediate.

He didn't put duct tape on her mouth for 10 minutes. After the duct tape he made a makeshift mask out of a tissue, and taped that onto her mouth using cello-tape. Stupid, yes, but her mouth wasn't taped up so she couldn't speak or breath.

I certainly do expect perfection, yes.

Good luck with that. Let me know when you find the perfect teacher. Last I checked Jesus wasn't teaching in Elementary schools though.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

paranoid freak that's what the teacher is. i think japan is going paranoid. i'd be sooo angry if someone did this to my kid

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Stupid masks are dirt cheap

Exactly. As a parent I guess you should stock up on them and read the school bulletins in your kid's 連絡帳 so the same thing doesn't happen to your kid. If day after day you are told to bring a mask and fail to bring it, why blame the teacher? It's 100% your fault Elbuda.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

This stupid bastard should have boxes and boxes of them just in case a child FORGETS his or her own!!

Obviously, you are not very interested in your child actually learning.

BTW, a question to the general populace. Usually, when some case of bullying shows up, most of the people here roar and demand MAXIMUM PUNISHMENT for the offenders and denigrate any sign of mercy for the school as weakness and ineffective.

So now, why is it when a teacher actually uses his initiative to correct a child rather than just taking the easy way out, he gets crushed?

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Sounds to me like this teacher needs to have punishment in kind.while preferably being held in a place where dropping the soap in the shower would be cause for a painful backdoor experience".

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I'm with Cleo, a responsible teacher would have spoken sympathetically to the child to see if there was any specific trouble the child was having in getting a mask for school. If yes, follow up. If no, and still forgets then speak to parents. Each day the child would be provided with a mask by the school (so they don't avoid the lunch serving duty) and parents might be asked to replace the school masks and to make sure the child has them for school in future.

But as another member said, the whole 'wear a mask when serving food' rule (for all children regardless if sick or not) seems pointless if they are in the same room all day for classes and probably playing together in breaks, all without masks.

Those members who think humiliation of a 7 year old is appropriate and perhaps prepares them for adult life, please let me know if they ever see such treatment of adults in a work setting? Does the boss make you stand in a corner? Tape your mouth? Wear a 'dunce' hat? In 30 years of factory and office work in more than 10 countries, I have never seen such a thing. The closest I've come is Japan (of course), where arriving even 30 seconds after the morning bell (this is in a bank, not school) required walking the length of the room to stand in front of the supervisor's desk to bow and apologise.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

how about grabbing a piece of paper, cutting it appropriately, punch in two holes, insert string or 2 rubber bands for ear hooks and tada!! Mask! I know paper ain't much of a protector, but still something..or gauze from first aid box/ scarf/ clean towel long enough to tie...it is not too hard to think of options..but then I'm a crafts teacher. Tape HURTS, and well..tape really??

@Kazuki Shimasaki- as a teacher who works with kids, let me tell you this. I repeatedly tell my students to bring in craft stuff. They TELL their parents the moment they pick them up, I do tell the parents too and explain why I need the things... rarely do they bring the things, and usually the kids will feel embarrassed. That's why, I go out of my way and just stock up on items for all the class anyway; it is expensive and I do then phone the parents to remind them that it is a craft class, children need the items...but many just ignore because well it is not like these things are text books..so for them, they're not important at all, and it angers me on many levels, and I usually warn their parents that I won't allow this more than 3 times..but then it is the kids that take the punishment, not the parents :( The parents will just demand money back, and the kid will feel sad because he cannot attend anymore.

About humiliation- sometimes it works other times it won't. Usually it has a negative effect that will just lead to rebellion, and instead of encouraging kids to grow up, it teaches them that they're always wrong and therefore don't amount to anything. They won't be confident and will lack guts to speak up, and what we need in society nowadays are honest kids who have creative ideas not copy+pastes of parents and teachers..please.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

^ Negative conditioning as a form of education, wow thanks but no thanks! I hope you have no children. I agree that the teacher had to take some initiative if the child didn't have the required mask four days in a row, maybe a good start would have been a phone call to the parents or consult the director of the school.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

why is it when a teacher actually uses his initiative to correct a child

Taping up a poor little girl's mouth and humiliating her in front of her friends is "showing initiative"? I genuinely hope you are not a parent or teacher!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

That school works on a tight budget. They can't afford bunny ears to punish the bad kids... The teacher is a tarento recycled in education or what ? Then, they wonder why kids don't respect them.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Thinking is such a hard thing to do for some people, for one plus one equals four. This teacher needs a professional thinker to do his thinking for him. We are a major think tank and we do the thinking for some of the smallest minds in the world. Thinking (or not thinking) can get you in a world of trouble, so let us do your thinking for you, for we are trained professionals. thinkforme.com, for idiots who have their brains in neutral and their actions in sixth gear.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@InControl

Your pseudo is perfectly fitting for you ! With all the other stories of "babies left in cars" while Maman plays pachinko, or crushed by a car because parents were looking the other way, there could very well be a lack of "interest" in taking responsibility for one's own children in a lot of Japanese families. A 'phone call to the parents would have seemed to me a first step - there could have been underlying problems at home which could also be the reason why the parents also apologized...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

why is it when a teacher actually uses his initiative to correct a child rather than just taking the easy way out, he gets crushed?

I find no suggestion (except in your posts) of the teacher's intention being to 'correct' the child, or of the duct-tape being a punishment intended to teach the forgetful, offensive (4 times!!) little tyke to bring a mask next time. Most little kids in my experience enjoy doing dinner duty; there's no reason to suspect this little girl is any different. Likely the tape-as-a-substitute-for-a-mask was intended by the teacher as a means of letting her do dinner duty. He just got it wrong, is all. And by your way of thinking, will probably have learned from all this humiliation never to tape a child's mouth again. So in that sense I suppose you're right, humiliation does work. (While no names have been released, you can bet your life everyone associated with the school knows exactly who the teacher and child are).

Word is that the child, mother and teacher have sorted everything out to their own satisfaction, which is fine; no lasting harm done. BUT - presumably the 'anonymous male voice' who phoned the school and the BoE was the father of some other child in the class who witnessed what happened and was bothered enough by it to go home and tell Dad. So this affects more than just the little girl who didn't have a mask; at least one other kid was upset by this. And the Dad shouldn't have made anonymous phone calls; he should have spoken in private with the teacher, got the full story and then decided whether it needed to go further. Going straight to the top, and anonymously, was a bit of an overreaction, I feel. If you can't put your name to an action, better to refrain from the action.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I teach kids everyday, and sorry, here in Japan so many stupid things go on, both inside and outside schools. As a TEACHER, we know which kid comes from broken families, etc..if we have ANY KIND OF HUMANITY we know as an ADULT to give more love, more attention etc..to poor kids from messed up families, so this kind of idiotic incident will not happen. ALL KIDS are not the same! All Japanese families are not the same! Some very good families and some others that just make you wonder, like in all countries around the world. So what should happen to this idiot loser teacher up in Tochigi?? Send his stupid ass to my amigos in Mexico, we will educate him into having more respect for the sanctity and dignity of poor, defenseless 7 year old little girls!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Kazuaki Shimazaki: You seem to be working very hard to find the best case scenario for kid, when it is more probable that the kid simply wasn't adequately motivated by the non-existent punishments (assignment to other work) to make the extra effort to remember to tell Mom she needs masks.

She shouldn't have had to tell her parents at all. At that age, it would've been on a list of things the school required her parents to provide her with. And more likely than not, there would also have been a notification with the dates that she would have needed said items.

Further, even if she has such difficulties, the reality is that she has to live in the world of normals, unless she wants to admit her difficulties are so severe she should be sent to some protected home or mental institute ...

In what country do 7-year olds decide on their mental capacities and whether or not they should be institutionalized?

Sir has got her back is nice. Not so nice is that when you think someone got your back, you tend to stop looking at it. In real life, in most cases, you have to watch your own back. Might as well start instilling this one early.

She's 7 years old. If she's not come in with what's required four days in a row, one could reasonably assume that at least one of her parents isn't doing a check to make sure she has all she needs for the day. I wholeheartedly agree with the idea that kids need to learn responsibility from a young age but, as has been stated, the kid isn't the one buying the masks, the parents are. Parents of children in Japanese schools are generally given very thorough lists of exactly what the kids will need throughout the year as well as a notice as to when they'll need such things. The girl's lunch room duties weren't decided on randomly so one of her parents would have been aware of it, were they on top of things. If I or my fellow classmates missed something for even one day, our parents would have been called and made aware of the situation. Where this teacher seems to have failed is in not letting the parents know, at least after the second offense, that they were sending their daughter off to school without everything required. Where the parents failed is in either not being aware of what their daughter needed or not doing a check of her bag before she left the house. Kids that age have the attention spans of hummingbirds. Doing a backpack double check isn't freeing the kid from being responsible for themselves. It's just being realistic.

It is already her 4th offence. I'll say an escalation in the measures applied should come up

Unless she's just a nut who throws the masks out before she gets to school, it should never have reached a 4th time. Her parents should have been made aware of it after the first or second offense and done the parenting necessary to make sure their daughter had what she needed before she left for school each day.

It has not even been established that Mom didn't buy masks!

Again, unless the girl was throwing the masks out while on her way to school, what has been established is that one of her parents failed to make sure she left with what she needed and the teacher failed to inform her parents that she was showing up without what she needed. There is nothing to suggest that he was ever going to talk to her parents about it. So, this teacher lacked both the common sense to work out a solution that was better than putting tape over her mouth and the compassion to stop and ask what might be going on at home that this girl kept showing up without what she needed.

I understand what you're saying about a little humiliation as a way of teaching kids to do what they should but, to my mind, this is less about humiliation and more about the adults in this girl's life not being concerned about her the way the should have been.

Don't be so optimistic. The bystander effect was discovered in the West

Interesting but somewhat irrelevant. Regardless of where it was "discovered", it occurs throughout the world, to lesser and greater degrees depending on various social dynamics in each country. What is perhaps more relevant is that other countries, having been made aware of the Bystander Effect, implemented laws requiring people come to the aid of others in need or to call for emergency help and laws which protect people who have acted in good faith to help others in need. One would think that if the average Japanese is truly more introverted than the average citizen of other countries, laws of this type would be something Japanese officials would be interested in implementing here as a way to get people to help those in need.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Guys be realistic here. Sure it was illogical, this guy is probably duller than a bag of hammers, but it was hardly child cruelty.. We'd do this when playing pretend cops and robbers... It's not like the child is unable to take the tape off herself at any time with two working hands of hers if she had trouble breathing out of her nose. It's totally irresponsible and senseless, but not cruelty.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I don't think what he did was right, but I also can't believe it made the news. Really - in the news? I think they (the teacher) should have simply had her substituted from serving food if she was not feeling well (ie cold, cough, etc).

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Guys be realistic here. Sure it was illogical, this guy is probably duller than a bag of hammers, but it was hardly child cruelty.. We'd do this when playing pretend cops and robbers... It's not like the child is unable to take the tape off herself at any time with two working hands of hers if she had trouble breathing out of her nose. It's totally irresponsible and senseless, but not cruelty.

Then I guess you wouldn't mind if some teacher did this to your child. You shouldnt complain, it's no biggie to you.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Then I guess you wouldn't mind if some teacher did this to your child. You shouldnt complain, it's no biggie to you.

You didn't read what I wrote. I said it was "irresponsible and senseless". If your teacher is irresponsible or senseless why would you not go to talk to him? I'm confused where you got the idea otherwise.

I'm merely implying that this isn't crime or news worthy. This should all be dealt with privately in the workplace; The boss should correct his behavior, he should apologize to woman and child, and done is done. if he doesn't correct or apologize, then that's another matter entirely.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

parents and child*

0 ( +0 / -0 )

you guys do know duct tape is called that way because they are stong enough to seal/join ducts/piping...we're not talking about bandaids here...plus if you put it on hastily, you may prevent someone from breathing

4 ( +6 / -2 )

and good luck pulling it off, girl probably will suffer from cracked lips for a long time :/ I mean, I'd make a fuss with tape on my arms!! Let alone on my lips :(

2 ( +2 / -0 )

For everyone's information, the primary students are prohibited to use the disposable mask and also borrowing other's mask. The BOE asks the kids to use the washable type of mask. It's not schools responsibility to provide disposable mask. Usually if the kids forgot something they need to be used at school on that day their mom goes to the school and bring it for them. As I observed at schools, kids nowadays tends to often forget in bringing their mask. I only have one school that they lend disposable mask to the kids and its not for free. The next day the kid/s should replace the disposable mask they used the previous. The school take down the kid/s name who often forgot their mask. Forgetting to bring a mask once or once in a blue moon could be considerable but straight 4 days in a row?? Uhm!! The kid hasn't paying attention at all to the teacher, because of course, the teacher for sure reminded the kid several times. Or even to the extent the let kid wrote it down on his/her homework notebook. Talking about responsibility, the kid's parents were then irresponsible so with their child. The apology letter serves them right.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Send his stupid ass to my amigos in Mexico, we will educate him into having more respect for the sanctity and dignity of poor, defenseless 7 year old little girls

Yes, Mexico seems like a charming place. What would you do? Pop a cap in his ass and leave him to die on the sidewalk? That sounds lovely... Sure wish I was there instead of Japan.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@Qamar

I'd rather pull duct tape off my smooth lips than my hairy arms.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Bulak Ohya: As I observed at schools, kids nowadays tends to often forget in bringing their mask.

Or, parents nowadays tend not to check that their children have what they need. First, parents are the ones who have to buy the masks, not the kids. Second, basic parenting responsibilities should include doing a double check of your 7-year old's backpack to make sure the necessities are in it. Schools send notices to the parents so they know exactly what their kids need and when. Anyone who's spent 5 minutes with a 7-year old knows that they'd probably forget their heads if they weren't attached. They've got short attention spans and are very easily distracted. That's the nature of being a child. That's why good parents do things like remind them to brush their teeth, remind them do their homework, show them again and again how to tie their shoes until they get it and so on. That's why good teachers notice negative patterns, try to find out why they're happening and offer solutions that don't involve masking tapes being put over little kids mouths.

The kid hasn't paying attention at all to the teacher, because of course, the teacher for sure reminded the kid several times. Or even to the extent the let kid wrote it down on his/her homework notebook.

No where does it say the teacher reminded the girl. However, even if he did remind her, the fact that he had to do so more than twice ought to have alerted him to the fact that something was probably going on, in other words, irresponsible parents not making sure their 7-year old daughter had all she needed in her bag before she headed out for the day. Any teacher who's solution to a kid not having what she needs is putting masking tape on the kid's mouth probably ought not to be given the benefit of the doubt. That privilege belongs to the story's child. The failure here was on the part of the adults.

Talking about responsibility, the kid's parents were then irresponsible so with their child. The apology letter serves them right.

The teacher apologized to the girl and her parents, the paper said, after an anonymous call was made to school authorities.

It was the teacher who apologized to the parents for putting tape over their daughter's mouth. How exactly does that serve the parents right?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

i really wondering whether the teacher was a real human being or a robot ?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

How difficult is it to relieve her of her duty on that day, and ask for a volunteer who has brought a mask? Then reschedule her. Too much inflexibility on his part.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

In regards to the preoccupation with avoiding germs I will refer you to a quote from the late George Carlin: "TAKE AN EFFING CHANCE, WILL YA!!!?? JAYSUS H CHRIST!!"

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

So, 7 year old girl forgets to take a face-mask to school for 4 days running. Is she belligerent? Disruptive? How about just forgetful? When I young I was forgetful... no-one ever taped my mouth up.

I'm with the voices who are asking why he didn't just get another pupil to serve lunch, or get the girl a mask and be done with it. She is SEVEN, not a gobby teen out to make a name for herself. Humiliating her is cruelty... it's like putting her in stocks for the locals to gawp at and point. Why anyone would do that to a SEVEN year old is beyond me. Seven... let's see, what was I doing when I was that age? Certainly not being made to serve lunch to my classmates like some bootcamp for little kiddies.

This teacher, had he done this to any child of mine, would be sucking his ramen through a straw.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Doesn't the nurse's office have masks?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I am always amazed by the enormous difference in opinion between the Japanese posters and Western ones regarding issues such as this. I wonder if these Japanese posters are representative of the Japanese public in general or merely just make it their personal mission to (try to) somehow excuse ridiculous behavior by the Japanese establishment. Trying to explain why this is so wrong on so different levels to a mind which doesn't automatically find the actions of the teacher resugnant is an exercise in futility and a complete waste of time.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The kid's dad should go to the school, punch the child abuser in the mouth (if he hasn't already- I know I would've), then tape up his mouth to stop his broken teeth falling out on his cancelled teacher's license.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Why doesn't the headline read ' Former Teacher tapes up mouth of girl, 7, to stop her spreading germs'?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

"The teacher apologized to the girl and her parents, the paper said, after an anonymous call was made to school authorities."

The teacher needed a kick in the nads.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This teacher, had he done this to any child of mine, would be sucking his ramen through a straw.

What a wonderful example that would be to you children. Good job.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I've got confused that another newspaper reported the girl and her parents wrote a letter to the teacher ( or school ) saying, she doesn't much care and she still loves her teacher. Anyone knows the source?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I am always amazed by the enormous difference in opinion between the Japanese posters and Western ones regarding issues such as this.

Japanese person's response Teacher made stupid mistake and apologised, student's mother also made stupid mistake and apologised, kid still likes her teacher. Forgive and forget, no hard feelings.

Foreigners response. "Sack him" "Child abuser!" "Kick his teeth in" "Beat him up" "Put him in jail" "Tape his mouth up" "Send him to Mexico to get beat up by thugs" etc. etc.

I'm amazed too, that the victim and her parents first response is to forgive, whereas the foreigners first response is violent revenge. And you think your education system is superior???

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

papasmurfinjapan: Japanese person's response .... Foreigners response

Just to clarify, you're saying that was one Japanese person's response compared to how many foreigners' responses?

I'm amazed too, that the victim and her parents first response is to forgive,

Where does it say that the victim's and her parents' first response was to forgive? I've checked the story on three different sites and haven't found one that says that. I'm not saying it didn't happen but just that I didn't find it.

whereas the foreigners first response is violent revenge.

Which foreigners? Do you know exactly which posters are foreigners and which aren't? I don't and wouldn't really want to hazard a guess. Some foreigners write like English isn't their first language and some Japanese write like it is. The responses calling for violence against the teacher have come from the usual few suspects so kindly keep your sweeping generalizations to yourself. The vast majority of posters, as disgusted as they've been by this teacher's actions, have not called for violence of any sort.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@ambrosia

Just to clarify, you're saying that was one Japanese person's response compared to how many foreigners' responses?

I'm replying to ViennaSausages claim that the reactions of the "Japanese" posters and "foreigner" posters are very different. How ViennaSausage determines who is Japanese and is not I have no idea, but I'm going off the reaction of the so-called victim. Surely how the victim reacted should be taken into consideration?

Where does it say that the victim's and her parents' first response was to forgive?

In the Japanese news. If you read Japanese, look it up. Onsen already posted one link yesterday.

http://www.j-cast.com/2013/07/03178660.html?p=1

帰宅前のホームルームで担任はガムテープを張った生徒に謝罪した。そして保護者宅に電話をして謝罪したいので家に行きたいと申し出た。すると恐縮したのは生徒の母親で、4日連続でマスクを持っていかなかったのはこちらの落ち度なのに、謝罪に来てもらうのは逆に申し訳がない、話を大袈裟にしたくない、などということで訪問を断ったという。

Which foreigners? Do you know exactly which posters are foreigners and which aren't?

I've been around this forum long enough to take a pretty educated guess, so yes.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

papasmurf: I don't know how ViennaSausage determined that either but I stand by what I said, you made a sweeping generalization that simply isn't true. The vast majority of posters have offered solutions as to how the teacher could have solved the problem without humiliating the girl or getting himself into trouble. The people who have suggested violence have been the minority.

Yes, how the victim reacted should be taken into consideration but at the same time, we have no idea why she accepted his apology -whether she was pressured by her parents to not make a fuss, for example and her acceptance of it should by no means exonerate the teacher from some sort of discipline. Actions have consequences, as this teacher well knows. And no, I'm not suggesting any type of violence as disciplinary action, nor that he be fired. Perhaps he should have his pay docked for a week or be made to undergo some type of training to learn 1) how to contact parents immediately when there's a problem and 2) how to show more compassion towards his students and 3) how to come up with more mature solutions to problems.

Thank you for the link. I missed it before.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@ambrosia,

you're not understanding the context of my post. I'm replying specifically to ViennaSausages own "sweeping generalisation" with my own, admittedly, sweeping generalisation. lol

The various solutions presented, such as "lending a mask" or "why don't they have spare ones?" etc, honestly shows a real lack of understanding of school life. Perhaps the school system needs to be changed - sure - but as it stands, when kids are assigned lunch duty, they need to bring their gear. The teacher will tell the parents through the renrakucho (or renrakubukuro or whatever the school uses) when they have lunch duty. If the parent was doing her job in making sure her daughter has everything she need, this wouldn't have happened. That is why she says "4日連続でマスクを持っていかなかったのはこちらの落ち度なのに、謝罪に来てもらうのは逆に申し訳がない". Does that sound like an angry mother to you? She's accepting the blame for not giving her child the mask to take to school.

When they don't have lunch duty, they don't need to bring the gear. The masks they use are their own personal gauze masks - not the disposable type - so it's not as simple as just going up to another kid and borrowing a mask. Should the school stock masks for forgetful kids? Well that's really another argument. I presume the school didn't have masks available, so in order to let her do lunch duty, he made a makeshift mask for her. It wasn't to humiliate her or to punish her.

That, of course, doesn't excuse his actions. He failed to realise what her friends would think when she's wearing this crude mask, but as far as I can tell, his intention (to let her do lunch duty) was pure. So to see a number of posts calling for him to be beaten up, fired, put in jail, is really an extreme reaction to his minor brain fart.

One last thing, those posters that equate this to child abuse have probably never seen a truly abused child in their lives. It is an insult to victims of real child abuse to lump this act in with those kids who are truly scarred by abuse, and sickens me how they throw the term "abuse" around so cavalierly.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

papasmurfinjapan: I understood the context of your post but I guess I fail to see what you are probably intending to be ironic.

As for the mother, it was pointed out by many posters, myself included, that she wasn't doing her job. At the same time, the teacher should have contacted the mother after the first or second time that the student showed up without the proper mask. To let it go for so long and then do what he did shows a lack of maturity and problem solving skills, so sorry but I doubt the "purity" of his actions. It wasn't a minor brain fart. The problem started when he failed to inform the girl's parents immediately after she forgot her mask the second time. He sounds like an ass, to put it quite frankly even if he did apologize. An apology is what is expected of you here. He had to apologize and we both know it. An apology doesn't necessarily mean that you truly see the wrong in your actions or that your behavior will change.

Given the choice, I don't think I'd want this guy teaching my kid. I come from a family of teachers and have run this story by them. They've all found it appalling for the same reasons I did and think the guy is an idiot. No, none of them called for violence to be used against him or thought he should be fired. That said, they all thought a guy this dumb was bound to lose his job eventually anyway.

I find it quite hard to believe that the school doesn't have extra masks or that at the very least, none of the other teachers had an extra mask. Again, poor problem solving skills on this guy's part. Duct tape? Really?

I agree that this certainly wasn't child abuse, though I've no idea whether or not other posters have seen or experienced it themselves. The teacher didn't abuse her though he probably humiliated her.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Inasmuch as the teach apologized to the family and the family accepted the apology and apologized for having not readied appropriate masks, to me this is open and shut.

However, since everyone is debating, I will throw in my 2 cents.

What Kazuaki Shimazaki and some others says is dangerous because it almost sounds convincing.

Taping the mouth shut of a 7 year old is just wrong. Maybe something like that could be acceptable with an adult, or teenager involved in an activity they have chosen to participate in, and they were irresponsible and forgetful, knew beforehand there would be some kind of consequences, and now, dam, coach gave me an annoying punishment, I better get on the ball. Or quit, under their own responsibility, if they think coach is over the top.

A 7 year old going to school cannot usually quit, cannot often articulate reasons for making mistakes, or for why she doesn't want to go to school, and also as cleo pointed out can't go and buy their own masks if Mom forgot.

She forgot the first few days and teach wants to make a point? Kazuaki, can't you think of another punishment besides something like this that would drive the point home? Being barred from another fun activity until she completes her lunch duties (with mask)? Getting extra homework? Tying it in to grades so she loses some kind of points for bad behavior? Gets extra souji (cleaning) duty, or stays after school for a silent study hall?

I could think of a million more, but so could any other reasonable adult, so I will stop here. Kazuaki, you are talking about responsibility, great, but the tape is painful, potentially injurious to the soft skin of a small child, never mind humiliating. Further it could cause more serious health problems if her nose is stuffed up, and she can't breathe for a long time because of the tape. As for completing the lunch duties "no matter what", if that is your goal, provide a mask, because taping the mouth shut, her nose can still leak any germs. You have not accomplished anything, in the end, with this stupid taping.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think we can both agree that what he did was stupid. Where i guess we disagree is in the severity of his actions.

Yes, a more conscientious teacher would probably call the parents by the second day to see what's up, but between the first day and fourth day you are assuming he did nothing. Perhaps he wrote in the renrakucho? Who knows?? Again, the girl said it was no biggie, the mum said it was her fault and doesn't want this blowing out of proportion, the education board dealt with him, end of story.

But for many posters here, that doesn't seem to be enough.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Papersmurf You're right that my comment was a sweeping generalization and uncalled for. I apologize.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

children should stay home if possible when sick and join the class via skype. Kids who are constantly bullied should also be able to take class via technology.

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I agree with Joebiggs, this stupid teacher needs a good swift in the huevos and then another in his culo! Poor little 7 year old girl! What are these stupid inhumane teachers thinking??!!

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IF a server doesn't bring a mask there should be a penalty like adding more days to serve lunch etc. But many asians seem not able to think outside the box.

like Borscht so nicely implied, they simply follow rules with little or no personal comprehension of why or what they are doing and find it hard to cope when a rule is broken and there is no alternate protocol. Improvisation not their strong point.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Elbuda Mexicano: I agree with Joebiggs, this stupid teacher needs a good swift in the huevos and then another in his culo!

It's not as if I disagree with the sentiment of many of your posts but this constant calling for violence and bloodshed is a bit tiresome. Do you really believe that violence solves problems? How's that working for Mexico these days?

Shiningfinger: IF a server doesn't bring a mask there should be a penalty like adding more days to serve lunch etc. But many asians seem not able to think outside the box.

Who exactly can't think outside the box? The kids don't see serving lunch as a punishment. It is more of a privilege and something they look forward to because it shows how grown up they are.

Kimokekahuna Hawaii: children should stay home if possible when sick and join the class via skype. Kids who are constantly bullied should also be able to take class via technology.

You may be right but what has either got to do with this story? The girl wasn't being bullied and she wasn't sick. The masks are worn as a hygienic measure, similar to how cooks and servers in restaurants will often be required to cover their hair.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Elbuda.

Have to agree with ambrosia, too many calls for unneeded violence. I was under the impression you are a Buddhist and those calls are out of character for one.

The guy needs a good lesson though we are in agreement there.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@ ViennaSausage2

There is certainly no need to apologise, not to me anyway. : ) But thanks for the gesture. I too often say things off the cuff that I should probably think more about before posting. I do not disagree with you that in general the Japanese way of thinking is different to Westerners though. Just not sure about that concerning the topic at hand, other than Mr Shimazaki who for some reason has the notion that this was some form of punishment and that it was justified. I disagree with that premise, as do no doubt many Japanese - otherwise this would have never made it in the news in the first place.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The kids don't see serving lunch as a punishment. It is more of a privilege and something they look forward to because it shows how grown up they are.

lol

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Papersmurf Thanks again.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't know what planet you're from but on the one I grew up on, learning responsibility, helping out with tasks and seeing how things are done, both at home and at school, was part of being a kid and I'd venture to say that none of us suffered or felt deprived in any way for having been made to do so.

I grew up going to public schools in the deep south. We did take time to clean the playgrounds and classroom, but we were not required to help feed each student and serve them lunches. If anything, the only school where I found out about my responsibility to society at large was in Sunday School at church, where we learned to "Do unto others as we would have them do unto us."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Alphaape: "Do unto others as we would have them do unto us."

And is learning to serve others with respect and kindness while also learning to show the same to the server not following the Golden Rule?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan is not about medieval punishment... why you laugh ?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Citizen2012JUL. 08, 2013 - 09:06AM JST Japan is not about medieval punishment... why you laugh ?

No. You're quite right. They are, however, all about the face masks.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I have worked at Elem., JHS, SHS, and adults.

He could have told the kid to go to the school nurse and get a mask or borrow a mask from (asked another teacher/ same grade) another classroom AND SO ON......

The teacher should not be teacher, 10 day suspension...

Craziest Teacher Of The Year Award goes toooooooooooo this man.... Yeahhhhh !!!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have a problem with the facts here. According to my colleagues , no where in the original Japanese article, did it say duct tape. If the teacher had used duct tape- dismissal! But if it was tissue with Sellotape , a innovative way to deal with the problem, and probably the kid went along with it. But there are too many variables to accurately comment on it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I was ironical, because to put duct tape over the mouth of a seven-year-old girl to stop her spreading germs looks very medieval (making a reference to that Japan's U.N. envoy under fire for telling other diplomats to shut up)l and a total non-sense, remember me this guy at the TV during 3/11 who claim that wearing a face mask and wearing glasses will protect you against radiation poisoning and irradiation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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