A student bullied at a school in Nara reportedly told his school that he didn't mention the bullying in a questionnaire that was distributed to students last month.
One high school student and three junior high school students were arrested by police after they last month allegedly forced a classmate to remove to his clothes and photographed him with their cell phones. The boys then allegedly sent the photos to other students at the school.
According to a Fuji TV report, the bullied child sought police consultation, following which the four boys were arrested. However, during police questioning, the boy told investigators that he had not declared the bullying on a school survey this year, because he was afraid of his tormentors.
The boy's testimony further casts doubt on the efficacy of questionnaires as a means of dealing with bullying, some psychiatrists and education professionals claim.
Prefectural boards of education across Japan this year conducted questionnaires in an attempt to guage the extent of bullying in the nation's schools, following the suicide of a 13-year-old junior high school student in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture.
The suicide sparked outrage across the nation from a public who believed teachers and authorities had failed to act while the boy, who killed himself last October, was relentlessly bullied and forced "practice" his suicide.
A questionnaire distributed among students at the school later revealed that the bullying was witnessed by students and teachers. The Shiga Board of Education at first concluded that "a cause and effect relationship between the bullying and the suicide could not be established."
The public outcry continued and the school was eventually forced to conclude that it was likely the bullying had caused the suicide. Following that incident a nationwide survey was carried out. However, the government has been criticized for relying on questionnaires in such cases.© Japan Today