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Woman catches 10-year-old boy who falls from 3rd-floor window

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A quick-thinking passerby caught a 10-year-old boy who fell from the 3rd-floor window of his elementary school on Friday afternoon, police said.

According to police, the boy, a 4th grader at the school in Musashino City, had climbed out of the window and was playing along a concrete ledge about nine meters above the ground when a woman passing by warned him that it was dangerous. The boy slipped and was hanging by his hands for a few seconds before he fell. The woman was able to catch the thin, 140-cm-tall boy in both arms, saving him from serious injury. The boy hurt his knee, but the pair was otherwise uninjured, police said.

The school vice principal praised the woman, saying, "If she wasn't there, the boy would have been injured really badly. We're so grateful for her quick action."

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school vice principal praised the woman

How about windows that are idiot proof.

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awesome!!!!!!

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of his ELEMENTARY school!!! I bet the headmaster was "grateful!"

WHERE was the teacher more to the point? Suspend the little brat ....

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Good catch! I was a little disappointed, but not surprised, to read that it was a kid clowning around at school. I say the former because that means that, once again, teachers/school are guilty of neglect. Heaps of Japanese teachers and school officials don't want to deal with kids so they just leave it be and hope nothing happens. The headmaster BETTER be grateful, since the woman didn't save the boy -- she save the HIS neck.

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Nice to see a story like this when coming to JapanToday. Good choice.

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I always notice that people who dont teach always find the teachers to blame. Perhaps it was lunch time when the kids also clean up their school and and the teachers have to watch the entire school population. Most schools have barriers on windows to prevent this. But if its an older school in a distict with a low budget, this happens. How about you trying to control 40 children in a classroom without going nuts for a day? Kudos to the woman who caught him. Maybe we can also heap criticism on the parents for not taking responsibility for teaching their kids what is right and wrong.

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Great that there are people who have the courage to warn and interact if the warning is not heeded. Let us be thankful that there are such people even here in Japan where it is so easy to blame those who we think should be responsible!

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I agree with Osakadaz - awesome! That's not easy, catching a 10 year old boy from the 3rd floor. I've never done it, but I know it's not easy!

Can you imagine the teasing this boy's taking from some of his classmates?

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I always notice that people who dont teach always find the teachers to blame.

I agree, as a teacher. What happens when you have 3 kids all playing on a ledge? And when you tell them to get down they tell you to drop dead? Is that still the teachers fault? It didn't happen here, but it has happened in my experience.

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Give this lady a medal for awesomeness, or at least a best-ist award. How about best-ist community spirit?

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owzat!

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Japan needs more people like this woman, seriously. Kawaii/kakkoii are way overrated, I prefer what this lady has. Courage, community spirit and bravery. I won't hold my breath, but I hope the mainstream Japanese media will cover this story and not just JT. I would rather see this woman on TV than that useless talent they usually have.

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OK, lets see how she warned him. I am sure she did not say in a gentle voice "Excuse me little boy, its a little dangerous out on that ledge, why don't you head on inside".

Im 100% sure its went down like this:

Woman panics:"GAAAAASSSSSSPPPPPP ABUNAI"

kid thinking that a bears behind him slips. She caught him but she probably nearly killed him too.

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bobbafett

gimme a break. hes on a ledge. its a fall waiting to happen. even if she did use a loud voice, what kind of person would warn someone in a "gentle" voice anyway?

i'm sorry, but you should have thought a little more about your comment before you posted it.

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Great to see that there are people out there that actually give a damn about the welfare of other people. I think a lot of people would have just kept on walking.

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Nice catch!

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Good one JT, great to have a good news story every once in while. Also kudos to the woman for choosing to act rather than just standing there. The school, however, is another matter. Irrespective of the difficulty, teachers are entrusted with the welfare of students at all times. The kid being on the ledge only has him self to blame, but the teachers in question also have to 'fess up to their own failings.

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Pretty amazing!

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10 years old? He's old enough to know that it's dangerous. Survival of the fittest....

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The child was high up, it would be very hard to maintain a voice of even from ground level where he was caught. It may have been the cooks or any of the other people going in and out of the school over the course of the day. The child must have known the dangers and the isolated area, that it was not abvious to others at the 3rd floor. Possibly the adult in the situation continues to take the heat as the child has other reasons for being out on the ledge. Kids dont regularly go our on the ledge.

Nice Catch! Kid, you need a holiday.

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good catch but what was that boy doing on the window ledge? I hope the teacher responsible is suspended and that he/she has to pay any medical bills the lady might encounter - I doubt she got off scott free.

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AWESOME!! Great catch! Don't think you can really blame anyone here. Even when parents and teachers do all they can to keep kids safe, kids are going to do mischievous, dangerous and stupids things sometimes. One lucky boy, that's for sure.

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3rd floor? I would have said I hope you fall and not tried to catch him. Then told him "I told you so." just to drive it home. A lesson hard learnt.

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It's highly unlikely that this woman shouting to the boy 9 meters up that playing on the ledge was dangerous somehow contributed to his falling. The boy being a Class-A jackass doing something people with common sense recognize as fraught with danger is the only thing that contribute to that.

She told him it was dangerous, and as it would happen, she was exactly right. This woman is a courageous hero, and the kid she saved is damned lucky -- and damned stupid.

Also, before anyone whips out the pitch forks to go after the teachers at the school, it's important to keep in perspective that teachers are just that: teachers. They aren't 24-7 babysitters. As educators, their jobs entail countless justifiable times and reasons during any given day that a they would not have been in that classroom to tell this moron of a child something so blindingly obvious as "Don't play on a ledge 9 meters up from a potentially lethal fall."

No one is to blame for this except this kid. Today, he's still around to reflect on the bredth and depth of his idiocy, thanks entirely to the courage and selflessness of this passerby. Bravo to her!

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Bobafett,

She caught him but she probably nearly killed him too.

We're still waiting for you to post a retraction and redeem yourself.

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I have the same doubts as bobbfett. It is quite possible he would not have slipped if not for her grabbing his attention. It is possible he would have slipped anyway... don't know...wasn't there.

But either way its not like she is trained for such situations. Its hard to blame her for a bad initial reaction. Whatever happened, she sure took care of it in the end. For that she comes out ahead regardless. Its just a question of if she gets a gold medal or silver.

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Just imagine IF she hadn't said anything and the boy had fallen and she'd left him. Imagine the outcry on this board then!

Most of the time people on here criticise the Japanese for doing nothing, and when they one doest something the reaction of a couple of posters is that it was her fault and she somehow contributed to the incident.

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Its hard to blame her for a bad initial reaction

Or alternatively let's praise her for saving the boys life.

It really is tricky one isn't it?

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Where was the teacher in all this?

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Nice catch! And she must be pretty strong, a 10 year old is not exactly a baby...

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I hear the Yokohama Baystars are looking for someone who can catch....sign her up!

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Heda_Madness: Or alternatively let's praise her for saving the boys life. It really is tricky one isn't it?

What is tricky is getting people to read posts to the finish. Please read mine until you get the part that ends with "silver (medal)". Some people would take that as praise. (and they would be correct).

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Bravo to the woman. She is an exceptional example amongst the Japanese people who are known as doing nothing if something happening that should be stopped.

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Yes, a silver medal because of her initial bad reaction.

I'm struggling to fathom how anybody can consider what she did a bad reaction. She saved the boy's life. Simple.

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Yes, perhaps her saying something to him distracted him, perhaps not. None of us posting on here so far were actually there to witness it so stop throwing stones.

What she did was amazing and thank goodness there is someone like her in this society were the vast majority prefer to pretend they didn't see. Without her, he might have fallen just the same and the outcome would have been far worse. Kudos to her!!!

As for the teachers, yes, I agree with irishhighlander...those who hold the school at fault obviously never taught in one here. Far too much is demanded and expected of the teachers. This little brat was going to find a way to get out there and be an idiot one way or another...not the teachers' fault for his stupidity. irishhighlander also made another good point; that maybe the parents should be criticized with teaching their own children right from wrong...unfortunately, nowadays, most parents don't seem to feel that to be their responsibility. They have the kids then appear to expect the schools to do the majority of the upbringing.

Anyway, it was so wonderful and refreshing to see such a great story on here! So much crap going on in the news, it is nice to read a happy ending for a change!

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Hmm. She told him was dangerous THEN he fell. Maybe if she hadn't said anything . . . Nah. It's great. She saved the day.

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Police would like to investigate how much pressure was applied by this lady, while holding the boy in her arms! Some injuries might have resulted due to her strong clutching .... Got to be a SUMU lady.

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"I agree with Osakadaz - awesome! That's not easy, catching a 10 year old boy from the 3rd floor. I've never done it, but I know it's not easy!"

Sarge, Osakadaz and WillB, catching the kid ain't the half of it. Just being johnny on the spot would earn her a place in the NFL, but estimating that the kid is 25 kg to 30 kg with acceleration of gravity, the lady could probably put on the gloves and get in the ring with any of us. That force is like stopping a high school linebacker or taking a punch from a golden gloves fighter. It could also be compared to being hit by a small vehicle at low velocity.

Spine crushing or bone crushing force. They should keep an eye on this lady. She might be "unbreakable" in the Bruce Willis sense of the word.

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UHM does NO ONE have a problem with the fact that a third grader was out on a ledge at a school? If this happened in America it would be insane. GROSS NEGLIGENCE on the part of the school and teachers,not too mention that regardless of parenting 10 yr olds do stupid shit that is why they have to be constantly policed by parents, teachers etc. Thae school has MAJOR safety issues if a kid can get on a third story ledge in any manner !!! SHINJIRARENAI

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This past week a child fell from the second floor of the Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Canada. I have been thinking about what could have been done to stop the child from dying that day and can only think that if someone had maybe caught the child as he fell. He was only two and had struggled out of his mother's arms as she was dealing with her other child. It was an accident with no one to blame. But people still need to pin the blame on someone for these types of senseless tragedies. This woman is a hero for catching the child. Most people would just freeze or react too slowly to make a difference. It happens everyday and those that do make a difference should be lauded for their efforts, not penalized. Just my two cents.

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Heda_Madness:Yes, a silver medal because of her initial bad reaction.

Who scoffs at a silver medal? Its the second best praise there is!

I'm struggling to fathom how anybody can consider what she did a bad reaction. She saved the boy's life. Simple.

I was not talking about saving the boy's life. Of course that was fantastic! I was talking about potentially being partly to blame for his falling. But that is not so simple of an idea so you may continute to struggle with it.

Maybe if you imagine a guy carrying a tray of cups full of coffee and you see water on the floor and yell "WATCH OUT!" in his ear. What is going to happen? Catching the tray after with only a little coffee spilled is pretty cool, but it does not erase the initial bad reaction. Sorry.

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Something good for a change. Brave lady

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The boy was up three floors in the air. He was playing on a ledge, not hanging on to it. And she told him to stop it, but he continued, and then she put herself in line for injury catching him. She's a hero, and he's a damn fool. There's absolutely nothing better she could have done. Leaving the place to tell someone would have been more disasterous. She was too far away to pull him in by herself, obviously. And this is a classic sign of gakyuu houkai where the teacher has absolutely no control.

Just a lucky, lucky boy, who gets a second chance now.

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Good for her, but where the heck was the teacher during all this? And I hope that kids mom is gonna buy her one luis Vuiton bag a week for the rest of her life...

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I really doubt that the woman had an intial poor reaction! To me that smells of someone prone to panic. Her reaction of "catching" the boy shows quick thinking and a degree of calm...not something a frantic person with a case of the screaming meemies would do.

Why do posters have to read into things and make up little scenarios? Let your imaginations run wild!!

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Far better story to read than the usual 'Stabbed in the neck, hit & run, perverted cop arrested or the family murder/suicide' stories that are all to familiar these days.

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Why don't we all use a little common sense here? Maybe she did yell loudly for him to get off the ledge because it's dangerous, maybe she startled him, but did she directly put into motion this sequence of events? No. The dumb kid did by crawling onto the ledge of a third story building. That is in no way safe or smart. There's a high likelihood he would have fallen. For comparison's sake, let's say I come across a mugging, the mugger is holding a knife to the victim's chest. I yell out "Hey!", the mugger gets startled, stabs her and runs off. I then tackle him, restrain him, call the cops and an ambulance. The lady lives and he goes to jail. Would you question my heroism in that instance because I yelled at a mugger? A hero is a hero and I wish more people would recognize this woman's actions for what they are instead of nitpicking and trying to find fault. She did a GOOD THING, she rescued a kid! Besides, who wouldn't have yelled that it's dangerous? That's a pretty normal reaction, I'd say. She's a hero in my book.

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poollymook:I really doubt that the woman had an intial poor reaction! To me that smells of someone prone to panic.

Panicked people can do both stupid and amazing things, sometimes both in the space of seconds. Would you folks please stop trying to turn my little maybe into an impossibility? I was not there and neither were you!

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Seriously, who cares if the woman "caused" the boy to fall by shouting? I think that her shouting wouldn't have caused anyone to fall if the idiot kid hadn't been on the ledge to begin with. I don't blame the teachers, I blame the kid. 10 years old is old enough to know what is and isn't dangerous.

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As far as explaining why a 10 year old was walking on the ledge, good luck with that everybody.

The kid is an idiot... but I repeat myself. What fence or barrier is going to be good enough for a willful 10 year old?

Nah. The lady who caught him is the whole story here. She threw sand in Darwin's eyes with this little stunt and ensured that this little bonehead will have a chance at reproduction, which is really the saddest part of the whole thing.

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Govt has to present her a gold medal to be the hero of the year. parents of this child must appriciate her in their whole lives. God bless you

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a good story about a good woman! definiately a heroine in my book

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The boys feet were about 4 and a half meters away from the lady's arms. She was most likely standing right under him when he fell. It's good she was there, but it's no surprise that the boy came away with only minor injuries.

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stupid boy.

is all i can say.

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If I am ever in the same situation as this woman, I hope I do exactly the same thing. Since the daft tyke injured his knee, perhaps both of them crashed to the ground when she caught him. She's a brilliant hero.

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Bokudayo. Yes. That is what I get. He is fully stretched out and she is fully standing up.

Ledge is 900 cm above the ground. Boy is 150 cm with arms 100 cm. Lady is 300 cm tops.

But did you really think it through? She did not catch his tippy toes using her finger tips and then carry him around standing up on her palms like a Chinese acrobat. It is more likely that she caught him at her chest level, with him at chest level, so...

Ledge is 900 cm above the ground. Boy is 150 cm. Lady is 150 cm tops.

Really, you have about 6 m acceleration there. If I am not mistaken, 30 kg is a fully loaded suitcase, so you basically have a lady catching a suitcase full of clothes that someone dropped from 6 m. I consider that a trick best left to drunken fraternity boys...and inveterate do-gooders.

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benhur, I second that...a 10 year old knows better than that...attention seeker or a total nut of the future. I am sure this is not his first 'stunt'. However the woman who caught him is a hero, from that height, the impact she took must have been enormous...as we say in OZ, a truly classic catch!

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He would have been fine, but because of her, he injured his knee. That's going to cost her.

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Kudos to that lady, it's refreshing after all the other incidents that don't end so well.

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5SpeedRacer5 - yeah, sorry. Here's a more accurate way to put things:

The boy was hanging from the ledge of the 3rd floor. The ledge below the window on the 3rd floor unless gravity works differently at that school. Giving 3 meters per floor, that puts the boy's hands about 6 meters off the ground, and his feet about 4 and a half off the ground, or about 2 and a half meters above the lady's hands.

The boy's center of gravity probably fell about 3 meters before the lady's hands began to slow his decent. I don't imagine that she caught him outright - chest level or not. In fact, I think that he had a fairly rough landing - he injured his knee after all.

Stil, the point is that the ledge in question is most definitely not 9 meters above the ground. By your calculations that would put the ledge of the 2nd floor 6 meters above the ground and the ledge of the 1st floor (the ground) 3 meters off the ground.

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Did you really think it through?

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numbskull, why even speculate about something you don't even know happened? and in the negative? perhaps the student jumped. perhaps he was pushed. but the story says nothing about anything like that. nor does it say he fell from her call.

the point is, it looks like it would make you feel better if the woman "caused" the boy to fall, which is impossible anyway, because she didn't put him on the ledge.

so the question is, why do you want her to be in the wrong?

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Who would have taken care of this woman had she been seriously injured by this kid? She could have busted her knees or her back.

Would the kids parents have happily footed her hospital bill? The School? Or would she had been left out in the cold?

While she did a noble thing, had the kid been falling feet first, he likely wouldn't have gotten more than a busted leg. As it stands now, he learned a valuable lesson --> mess around and somebody else takes care of you.

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I do not know wheteher she would read this ... but through this comments I am passing it to her ... YOU ARE A HEROINE MY DEAR LADY ... YOU CARED ENOUGH TO SAVE A LIFE ... A SALUTE TO YOU .... and please don't forget boys are boys. one day they will learn .. when i was a little boy i also did some reckless things

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The woman is a heroine.

As for the kid, was he playing or was he still debating if he should jump and end it all or not? 3rd floor window on a school building is fairly high. I doubt he wouldn't have been seriously injured if he had dropped from that height. Maybe he was bullied into walking the ledge. Sorry, I've read too many news of Japanese children bullied at school and dying as a direct consequence of it.

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Glad the woman was able to catch the kiddo, but where the heck was the teacher?

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Amazing story! The lady should receive some type of national recognition.It took a lot of courage for her to do what she did. I'm sure there are many people who would have left him fall by turning their backs to the situation.

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Truth, I think you have a great question that no one seems to be talking about. Where was the teacher during this time? Once again another moment of carelessness during the day. I bet the teacher was on their cell phone or having coffee.

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smithinjapan: [once again, teachers/school are guilty of neglect.]

You like to blame people. How can they watch all students at all moments of the day? Get off your soapbox.

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sydenham: so the question is, why do you want her to be in the wrong?

I think the better question is: why do you crap on a silver medal?

I will happily upgrade it to a gold if and when I have no doubts she did not contribute to his falling.

I am fully aware the little numbskull got up there by himself. But it sounds like she diverted his attention. My own wife does this to me all the time. Its a wonder I have not cut off a hand what with the timing of her opening her mouth! I love her and I love women in general, but most of them I prefer not be around if concentration is vital. My own wife aside I have seen women make the same mistake over and over with kids, they talk kid slips and falls, so I think it is quite likely here. There is doubt however, which is why she is not stuck with bronze!

In case you have not got it, silver is not wrong, its just not as right as gold!

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nice catch

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Yourock, I agree.

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he probably banged his knee in the first fall, when he caught himself on the ledge. if his foot slipped, then his knee might be the first then to bang on the ledge that he then caught. ANDOR when he caught himself on the ledge he may have swung into the building a little hitting his knee.

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Really AMAZING to say the least & hard to imagine someone able to catch & save the life of a 10 yr old boy, for they are not the weight of a baby.

She deserves more then a few words of thank-you, but that is probably all she received.

So Nihonlover you put it so much better then I can.

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would have let Darwin teach the boy a lesson myself

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Where was the teacher???? You guys are wrong to think that the teacher would be in the room with the students all day, even more wrong to guess that this automatically happened in the kids homeroom class. It could have been in the library for all we know.

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“GROSS NEGLIGENCE on the part of the school and teachers . . . ”

“Good for her, but where the heck was the teacher during all this?”

“ . . . teachers are entrusted with the welfare of students at all times . . . [T]eachers in question also have to 'fess up to their own failings.”

“I bet the teacher was on their cell phone or having coffee.”

“Glad the woman was able to catch the kiddo, but where the heck was the teacher?”

“ . . . once again, teachers/school are guilty of neglect.”

I see posts like these and I’m simply astounded by the sheer level of presumptive ignorance takes to write them.

It must be wonderful to live in a rose-tinted world where teachers are 100% responsible for every waking moment and action of the students in their care: No breaks, no curriculum meetings, no time to use the bathroom, no taking children to the principal’s/nurse’s/counselor’s office at the risk of leaving the other children alone. No recess, as that would leave the children far too much freedom to wander out of the immediate peripheral view of the teacher, thus increasing the chances of a possible accident. No allowing the children toilet breaks, wetting their pants be damned, as that would remove even one child from under the perpetual lidless gaze of the Almighty Teacher.

In this perfect world of yours, the class moves about as one, much like a flock of birds or a school of fish, pivoting gracefully and in unison on a dime, with the teacher eternally at the head, always looking ahead for unknown dangers, yet somehow magically keeping his/her attention on everyone following behind, never missing a beat and never daring to do anything other than Watch The Children -- no matter what.

And all for the equivalent of $18,000 per year to start.

In violation of virtually every labor law in the civilized world that dictates workers -- and yes, teachers are laborers -- get a break of some sort during the day, in this perfect world of yours, they aren’t allowed such “luxuries,” an opinion many of you no doubt shared with us on this thread during your break.

For the amount of responsibility most citizens in “advanced” nations seem to want to heap upon educators when it comes to the upbringing of our children, you wouldn’t know their resolve by how little money is actually allocated to salaries, learning materials, school buildings, and the actual manpower necessary to fulfill this idealistic fantasy of the Ever Vigilant Protector that many here seem to believe a teacher is obligated to be.

It’s abundantly clear that many if not all of you who insist on blaming the school for this have never actually taught professionally, and thus are grossly unaware of what the actual job entails. Because if you had ever taught, you would see immediately the countless impossibilities in your criticisms.

A school’s responsibility to the children it serves is to help them acquire those tools that will enable them to learn and provide for themselves in the future. Reading, writing, arithmetic, science, social studies; No where in the equation is there -- or has there ever been – a mandate, explicit or otherwise, to make kids NOT stupid or teach them basic self-preservation concepts that the rest of the human race takes for instinctive.

This is not the fault of the teachers at the school. The lesson of playing on ledges at the risk of falling and hurting oneself is one that a child should have learned through the trials and tribulations of learning to walk. It’s not the school’s responsibility to teach this. This kid put himself in harm’s way by simply being a selfishly stupid jackass, likely showing off for his friends. He’s lucky to have a second chance to rethink his bravado, and the school’s lucky to not have to take time out of a busy academic schedule to explain to the rest of the student body why being stupid can get you killed. Although now they’ll probably have to do just that, if only to assuage the ire of parents who seem to think that schools should double as daycare centers for their “little angels.”

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LFRAgain,

You took the words out of my mouth. Brilliant post. Awesome.

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Exactly, I hope every poster who thinks this is easy to prevent learns better by having their own children. Try seeing how long before your child falls and hurts themselves.

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LFRAgain well said.

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I agree with everyone who said the woman is a hero. I also agree that this is nobody's fault but the kid's. Still, at least at that school, there are definitely some safety issues that need to be addressed. It shouldn't be possible for the kids to crawl out on the ledge on the third floor of an elementary school because, as has been said, teachers cannot always be present, children don't always listen and kids will be kids. Therefore, building safety in this school she be looked at.

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LFR...great post! Well said!

Yes, whatsgoinon, nearly all schools in Japan need to rethink their building safety. But that costs a lot and it isn't going to happen soon, but I sure wish it would!

While I agree that the first thought might be, "where was the teacher?", I just need to think about that for about 3 seconds and I come up with all kinds of scenarios like LFR described above. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how overworked teachers here are. And yes, they are indeed the ones who seem to be held far more responsible for a child's...sorry, an entire room full of children's upbringing every year. Parents just don't seem to be up to the task for some odd reason. They often just leave it to the underpaid babysitters that are otherwise known as teachers.

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Where was the teacher? Probably pulling another 10-year-old idiot from the balcony on the other side of the school...

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