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Young girl dies after falling out of window at school

30 Comments

A 6-year-old girl died on Wednesday afternoon after apparently falling out of the window at an elementary school in Sasayama City, Hyogo Prefecture. Police said they received a report just after 4 p.m., stating that a young girl had been found collapsed on the ground at the school.

Officers found Ayana Sakai lying unconscious on the ground and believe she fell from the third story library. She was rushed to hospital but died soon after of severe head injuries.

According to the school, Wednesday was an open-house day for parents and Ayana was in the library together with other children.

© News reports

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30 Comments
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This is , of courser, terribly sad - - but not surpising. I taught for a while at various schools here in Japan , and noticed how lax the standards were in the schools in terms of ensuring students safety. Having worked in Education in CANADA for years and years - it was shocking to note how kids here in Japanese schools were allowed to stay in rooms unsupervised , how desks regularly were pushed to the wall under windows and kids would sit and jump on to those desks ,and many other situations that placed kids at risk.

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RIP little girl.

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Poor little girl. Maybe it's still early and I'm not processing this correctly, but... it says she was in a library with other people, and no one actually saw her fall? Someone reported it after finding her later and they THINK she fell? That just sounds weird to me. It must have been busy/crowded or something.

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When I used to walk past an elementary and junior highschool every day I often say kids on the second or third floor sitting on the little ledges OUTSIDE of the classroom, or generally monkeying about the open windows. This is no surprise, but must have been all the more shocking with the parents their (if they saw, as it was open house). Still, if they DID see that kind of thing it might finally dawn on them to demand safer schools.

Poor little girl. RIP.

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kokorocloud-

it says she was in a library with other people, and no one actually saw her fall? Someone reported it after finding her later and they THINK she fell?

according to sankei news, there were like 20 kids in the library and some kids yelled when the girl fell. a teacher heard the kids scream and then rushed into the library. until then, there was no adult in the library.

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fishy-- ok, thank you for clearing that up for me! That makes a lot more sense. ... Actually, makes it that much more depressing.

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So many things wrong and very disturbing about this story.... RIP little girl.

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Yes, it must be devastating for the parents to be there for probably their first open-house day and to find their child dead. RIP little one.

I'm going to my kid's school tomorrow, so maybe I'll snoop around to see if there are any safety issues. Open windows, glass roofs, what else did we have recently?

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TSRnow-

it must be devastating for the parents to be there for probably their first open-house day and to find their child dead.

And this actually happened AFTER the open house. Parents were in a different room with teachers (parents-teachers social meeting) when this happened. The kids were basically just waiting around in the library while teachers and parents were talking. Anyone who have kids in Japanese schools probably know how long this meaningless "meeting" goes on AFTER openhouse..

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and people ask me why I`m afraid of trusting my son to japanese institutions...

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The lack of supervision in Japanese schools is appalling, and it really leads to a lot of bullying.

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fishy- You must have been in these meetings. Me too.

But it's not so meaningless for some parents though. One meaning will be to get closer to the teacher. My kid had 3 newbie homeroom teachers in a row, of which one was fresh out of university. You can imagine how we listened carefully to what they had to say!

Another will be to get to know other parents. Unlike pre-school you don't get to see the other parents much since you don't have to walk your kids to school.

Anyway, going back to the article, if the kids were allowed to wait inside, the school definitely had the responsibility to look after them, don't you think?

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TSRnow- Totally agree. If they were to make the kids wait, they should have someone (adult) in the same room.. especially that these are 1st graders..

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TSR now :

I'm going to my kid's school tomorrow, so maybe I'll snoop around to see if there are any safety issues. Open windows, glass roofs,

That is a very smart thing to do TSR. And remember to request IN WRITING the safety measures you as parents see are needed for that school in terms of PHYSICAL changes ( i.e. bars on window, 2nd floor windows that open only on top and not on the bottom . . that sort of thing ) and safety measures in terms of SUPERVISION. I hope these parents, once they work through their initial grief, sue the School District for dereliction of duty as applied to this case.

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I had to go to my daughters school unexpectedly the other day and I was shocked to see kids running riot unsupervised as I walked through to her classroom.

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kirakira25 - i am a teacher in australia. under no circumstances should you visit my school.

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This news really, really pisses me off! How in the hell does a school let a bunch of 6 years old in the library, or anywhere with out any adult supervision!! RIP little 6 year old girl. My son is also 6 and just yesterday we went to see his lessons at his school here in Tokyo, so this makes very angry at the school and I will talk about this on my tv show this evening to help prevent this sort of horrible accident.

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my kids school sends kids to library all the time when parents/teachers have meetings, and the difference is that there's always a librarian there when kids are there (thank goodness).

parents of this girl should have taught her NEVER NEVER NEVER to climb up to open windows, and the school is also to be blamed on not having an adult person in the room while having children wait for their parents.

not that this girl would ever come back, but just so that other schools nationwide will be more aware and more careful, because i am sure there are many many schools that send kids to some room to have their parents wait during PTA meetings.

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This is a terrible thing that happens all too often in Japan it seems.

I think the best way to teach kids not to play around, on, or in windows to prevent a tragedy like this from happening is to show pictures of people who have fallen out of windows for doing the activities just stated above. It might be graphic but it will definitely put the fear of dying horribly into them.

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I work in Hyogo and this came up at our morning meeting. It's really scary to think that any one of the kids I see running around could be gone at any moment. Truly a tragedy.

I can't speak for every school, but one of the first things kids have drummed into their heads is that they only have one life, and that they have to do what they can to protect it. Punishment in elementary school that I've seen tends to basically involve a scolding and commands to reflect on their actions. I regularly have to pull kids down off of things that they shouldn't be climbing on.

It isn't just schools either. I often see a lackadasical attitude towards safety taken by parents as well. Mothers talking obliviously while their 4 year olds jump off 4 foot planters, letting kids STAND on the front seat of the car while driving. All kinds of stuff...Americans may be paranoid, but some of these Japanese are absolutely careless.

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MeAndroo-

Americans may be paranoid, but some of these Japanese are absolutely careless

yeah, but better to be "paranoid" than losing your kids by being careless in my opinion.

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I'm amazed that multi-story buildings in Japan need to let their windows open far enough to let a child climb/fall out of them. Even if there is no A/C in the building and they rely on passive ventilation, it still can be done while restricting how far the windows can open.

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pushed maybe

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With you on that "but better to be "paranoid" than losing your kids by being careless in my opinion"

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I`m always being accused of being paranoid about my kids. I take it as a compliment to my vigilance!

Bobcatfish - I have no problem with kids being kids in school. Hell, we were just as bad. But you need to be here to see the kids in school here - this kind of thing happens SO often and my point was that, given that it happens so often, you would think the teachers and school administration would have learned from past cases but no - kids climbing all over things unsupervised, swinging on doors, windows wide open with children climbing/sitting on the ledges right by them.

Every year I am reading of kids falling out of windows at school - falling, not jumping. And yet, it is swept under the carpet and we all move on, and it happens again. We trust our kids to these places and assume that they are at the very least safe.

I am not so worried about my daughter, but my son will be starting Japanese school in a few years and is already intent on becoming a candidate for a Darwin award even at the age of 4. It takes all my wits on a daily basis to protect him from himself(!) and god only knows how a teacher with 35 other little hoodlums is going to manage it!

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"steam"... pushed... silenced... who knows. Could be an honest accident.

can't blame the supervision. watching one child is hard enough... now try 30 kids!

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I am not so worried about my daughter, but my son will be starting Japanese school in a few years and is already intent on becoming a candidate for a Darwin award even at the age of 4. It takes all my wits on a daily basis to protect him from himself(!) and god only knows how a teacher with 35 other little hoodlums is going to manage it!

Give him a chance to grow out of it, Kira! I wasn't exactly a MENSA candidate either, when I was young = ). Further to the point, there definitely needs to be much more active oversight, particularly when it comes to kids. The sheer irresponsibility of some parents and schools is absolutely maddening (not saying that's the case here, as there isn't as much info). The poor parents must be devastated.

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Thanks Shaolin! Nice to know there is hope for the little critter yet! I keep having to swear to the paediatrician that I am not beating him up with all his bumps, scrapes and bruises!

If I even try to imagine what these parents must be feeling right now my blood just runs cold. You send your kid to school every day and never imagine they won`t be coming back.

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This is surprising. I teach at a junior high school in Hyogo and when the kids go out on the field after lunch they are supervised. Hell!!!! they are supervised going to the bathroom...I don't understand why an elementary school would be any less stringent. RIP litttle girl.

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sobbed story :(. but how did she fall anyways ?

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