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Two 12-year-old girls jump to their deaths; note hints at bullying

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"According to the city education board, the school had conducted surveys among students about bullying eight times during the academic year, which started last April. The two did not say that they were being bullied."

Could it be that students or children are not reporting that they are being bullied insight of recent cases where other children went to the authorities with a valid complaint and the "system" let them down, so are children now thinking its hopeless its not worth making a complaint?

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Jesus, their poor parents. I'd have thought if they were graduating that they'd see a light at the end of the tunnel, unless they were about to go to the same JHS as their bullies. That they had no one else in their lives to reach out to is just crushingly sad. There's something seriously sick and twisted about school culture here.

As someone who's spent more than 20 years in classrooms, albeit with college kids, I find it hard to believe their teachers didn't know what's going on. While we can't be privy to what happens when students are out of our sight, I think we know who's being ostracized or verbally abused. Choosing not to see it, not trying to intervene, not having the tools or know how or frankly the f---s to give, that's quite another matter and frankly that seems what most of these incidents turn on. In front of all the schools in my ward hang banners saying let's put a stop to bullying in large ji. That's about the extent of it.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Teachers are blind, and stupid, trained to be. It's ridiculous how often they throw their arms up and claim no knowledge at all. Two children killed themselves because well "Shogani " on the teachers part. Perhaps a monthly pay cut might fix it...in an alternative universe.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Same typical excuse, “we didn’t know anything about any buliying”...

Ignorance is a bliss appetently ammong those teachers. How about their parents? It’s impossible they weren’t aware of their doughters states and condition. They are also very much responsibble since they didn’t take any measures on the appropiate time.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

This country has a serious problem with school bullying suicides. This story is awful.

Bullying happens everywhere but the problem in Japan is the bullying suicides. It needs to get sorted.

When you are bullied you are too embarrassed to tell your parents, or the school. I didn't tell my Dad because I knew he would go in swinging and make more of a mess of the whole thing.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

According to the city education board, the school had conducted surveys among students about bullying eight times during the academic year, which started last April. The two did not say that they were being bullied.

Wrong approach. Simply asking if someone is being bullied won't cut it. Students need access to a SAFE third party at school that has the power to step in help/support them if they are being bullied. Me and some other kids were bullied at school, if the teachers asked if someone was being bullied in class noone raised a hand. Kids need to have a safer more private way to communicate they're being bullied.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

@jcapan - As someone who's spent more than 20 years in classrooms, albeit with college kids, I find it hard to believe their teachers didn't know what's going on. 

I'm more concerned about why the parents didn't know what's going on. From my experience of nearly 20 years in Japanese classrooms, most of the bullying and verbal abuse comes from the teachers and administrators of the school. The students are constantly under pressure to do better. They are constantly abused, intimidated and threatened by their teachers. I've taught in schools from elementary to university and it is always the same. This is why kids are not reporting bullying. They are afraid to name their teachers as the bullies. This is especially true at this time of year when students are doing year-end exams and entrance exams. I have a private student I have taught for many years. He is now in 2nd grade senior high and will enter 3rd grade from April. He is also a competitive skier and just competed in the inter-high comp in Hokkaido where he gained a second place and entry to the national pro-am titles. However, he has been told by his school that he cannot compete in the national titles because his schools grades have less than an 80 average and he must attend 'extra' classes throughout the spring vacation. He goes to a private high school in Tokyo. The school is only concerned about their reputation and average scores to promote themselves and, as a result, have threatened him with expulsion if he does not get an 80 average. That is bullying!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

12 year olds should never even be contemplating jumping off buildings. Sure, bullying happens everywhere but it’s another level in Japan, where people even young children, feel they have no one to turn to and no hope. May they now be free of their torment and at peace. Shouldn’t have ended this way though.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

RIP.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Some suicide notes, addressed to the school's president 

So was this a private school? Even if it was he would be a principal!

Once again in a rush to publish and stir up emotional responses, accuracy is not important. Be nice for once to have the full story ACCURATELY and attention to details when making translations from Japanese to English.

There are a heck of a lot of questions here; investigative sources? notes in the building? (They dont even live there), more background from the BOARD of Education, and less excuses.

If the story came from "investigative sources" then where is any information from classmates who were interviewed, anything.

Do not let these children die in vain!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

When you go to a teacher or member of the staff, the first thing they do is call out the bullies. They make them sign a paper stating they won't come in contact with the complainant again. Second offence is detention for the bully, and removal from any classes they share, plus an in school restraining order. If broken they can be removed from school permanently. Third offense they are kicked out of school. This is absolutely ridiculous. When a child comes to an adult and says they're being bullied it's already out of control, and they are at their wits end. It is not time to start warnings, it's time to end it. Bullinging should be a felony offense, and NO TOLERANCE! Too many lives are lost from bullying!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I can't imagine the pain they must have gone through that would lead them to jump to their deaths from a stranger's home. Generally, Japanese children have good common sense, but the stress they were going through must have overcome it.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Blaming the teachers is pretty lame tho. Oh, YOU were there, eh? If not, then you don't know. If you WERE there, then why didn't you stop it?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Bulling in what ever culture is a product of a mind set. Degrading another individual is an effort to assuage a damaged ego. When teachers do the bulling it can be considered a cultural failure to understand.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"The school takes the loss of these two lives very seriously,"

Seriously ? That is suicidal.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

"It also said it will consider whether to conduct hearings with students in connection with the incident."

Seriously ? Have you read the notes left by the girls ?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Tragic.

But, if the parents didn’t know, how can you blame teachers?

Suicide is part of the culture here. Adults need to lead the way, but showing that no matter what happens, it’s better to live,

So many people will be affected by this.

We need to teach people that they need to choose life. Especially at that age.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Too sad for words!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Still selfish.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The city education board told a press conference Wednesday that it had not received any reports about the two being bullied.

This should be taken with a grain of salt. Schools are notorious for covering up these reports.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Really sad for them but it was their own choice to commit that terrible crime of taking their own lives. Let alone, just before graduation.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Calling each other ‘baka’ or saying ‘shin-e’ is not an uncommon occurence among children in elementary or junior high school settings. The school did the right thong by doing those numerous surveys. Bullying is often done inconspicuously, in jest, in social group circles, but is persistent and results in undermining the self confidence of the victim. Development of self-resilience in young children to help them to become stronger/self-confident in themselves is important.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I pity the family that had to ID the bodies, it is gruesome speaking from someone that knows someone that had to do it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Bullying is and will always be a part of growing up. It's just the way it is all over the world including where I grew up. I've seen in it Japanese schools when I used to teach here and it'll never end.

But the spate of suicides by kids is disturbing. You can't rest the blame on all these suicides on the school authorities.

Kids also need to toughen up a bit. They need to learn to fight back.

My generation as kids, and of course older ones, were often taught by parents to not get pushed around and fight back. If we didn't we'd continue to get bullied. Bullies prey on those they perceive to be weak and once you let them mess with you they often keep on doing it.

A kid needs to out a bully to parents/teachers/other students, confront him/her, or even physically fight back - yes, that means get into a fight. Suicide is not the answer. Taking your own life for being called an "idiot" or "fool" is absurd no matter how you look at it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

My generation as kids, and of course older ones, were often taught by parents to not get pushed around and fight back. If we didn't we'd continue to get bullied. Bullies prey on those they perceive to be weak and once you let them mess with you they often keep on doing it.

A kid needs to out a bully to parents/teachers/other students, confront him/her, or even physically fight back - yes, that means get into a fight. Suicide is not the answer. Taking your own life for being called an "idiot" or "fool" is absurd no matter how you look at it.

Speed, I understand where you're coming from b/c I'd largely agree if we were in a western nation. But I don't think your approach works in many situations here. My Japanese niece experienced bullying at her private JHS (all girls). For whatever reason, a group of classmates targeted her and as a result the entire class ceased to acknowledge her existence. Imagine if everyone in your class just ghosted you and you're sitting right there among them, no one speaking to you, ever, for months. The teachers knew exactly what was going on but despite her parents' involvement and endless meetings, it went nowhere. This at a highly ranked school. She ended up transferring to a much lower ranked public school for the last 2 years. Teachers and administration had two choices--they could have called in 25 sets of parents, holding them and their kids responsible, or they could have opted to shift the burden, an inconvenience in their eyes, onto one poor 13 year old and her agonized family. It's like they view tortured victims of bullying as runts of the litter, someone who has to be sacrificed for the greater wa.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Call me “a fool” or an “idiot” but one of the problems seems to be the incredibly thin skins of some students in Japan. I am often amazed by the mental strength and shocked by the emotional weakness of young Japanese.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

They'll just keep getting younger and younger and Japan will just sit back and watch

3 ( +5 / -2 )

TigersTokyoDomeMar. 13 05:22 pm JSTThis country has a serious problem with school bullying suicides. This story is awful.

Bullying happens everywhere but the problem in Japan is the bullying suicides. It needs to get sorted.

When you are bullied you are too embarrassed to tell your parents, or the school. I didn't tell my Dad because I knew he would go in swinging and make more of a mess of the whole thing.

Elmer FuddToday 08:54 am JSTCall me “a fool” or an “idiot” but one of the problems seems to be the incredibly thin skins of some students in Japan. I am often amazed by the mental strength and shocked by the emotional weakness of young Japanese.

What if these girls were bullied at home too? There's family abuse too - physical, emotional, sexual. When that happens, and it does - the child isn't happy anywhere and he/she feels there's no way out.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Kimberly Clark Heckler - When you go to a teacher or member of the staff, the first thing they do is call out the bullies. They make them sign a paper stating they won't come in contact with the complainant again. Second offence is detention for the bully, and removal from any classes they share, plus an in school restraining order. If broken they can be removed from school permanently. Third offense they are kicked out of school. This is absolutely ridiculous. When a child comes to an adult and says they're being bullied it's already out of control, and they are at their wits end. It is not time to start warnings, it's time to end it. Bullinging should be a felony offense, and NO TOLERANCE! Too many lives are lost from bullying!

But, what do the kids do when the bully is a teacher?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Bullying is part of japanese culture i guess, most variety tv shows are constantly calling people stupid, creepy, fat, ugly. Some of these "talents" make their name on being talked down too. Japan will Never get to the root of a serious problem. They'll make some "no bullying" posters to hang on the school walls, pat themselves on the back and go on with their day. Sad story, R.I.P

4 ( +4 / -0 )

There are some absolutely quantum assumptive leaps being made here. Without knowing the details in full, it's wrong for us to hold schools/teachers responsible. Blanket condemnation of everyone's not going to solve anything.

Bullying is part of japanese culture i guess

What, it's not occurring in Western cultures? Bullying's a problem, period.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

What, it's not occurring in Western cultures? Bullying's a problem, period.

Suicide is the leading cause of death among the youth of Japan...

Clearly the root causes are not being looked at. Never will. Three monkeys. Disgusting cultural attitudes. These children have no one to turn to. That that exists is a crime against humanity in my opinion.

RIP little ones.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The two girls had friends at the school they left notes to. And they had each other, it clearly wasnt a case of an individual completely isolated. And graduation was a week away. It doesnt really add up. The comment about too thin-skinned may be very relevant.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

But, what do the kids do when the bully is a teacher?

Yep. And of course, the teacher can always deny bullying and be backed up by colleagues. It's not just kids and their peers, bullying can occur at any level/age.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Iradickle,

and the “no bullying” posters will probably be in english!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Schools here don't have anyone that you can go to in order to discuss things privately without repercussions.

Surely that should change ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Taking ones life at first thought would appear to be rather a brave thing to do... you know you're going to die through your actions. But, for those subjected to targeted bullying, it also gives your tormentor a Victory. There are other ways out of problems, and not always to your own detriment.

@JT Mod:

When publishing such articles, please consider placing a reference at the bottom of the article to TELL:

https://telljp.com/

And also, a suitable equivalent Japanese site ...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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