School bullying is notorious in Japan

Updated By on May 04, 2017, 09:00 am
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Source: A screenshot of ANN News


By Tokyo correspondent Um Soo-ah - A 13-year-old boy, who attended a junior high school in Sendai, committed suicide on April 26 after being bullied.

According to the Mainichi Shimbun on Monday, the student was found dead on the apartment ground near his home.

The municipal board of education found that the boy was often being bullied at school.
Initially, the principal of the school denied the possibility of school bullying, or "ijime" in Japanese, but said at a news conference on Monday, "It's true that there were cases of bullying concerning the boy."

The scar that the bullied student had after tipping over the feet of other students at school back in February was not healed.

The school conducted an ijime survey on students in June and November of last year, however it did not take any action on the "insults" or "teasing" posts written by the boy. The school thought it was just a common thing among teenage boys.

However, the survey showed that the boy had been bullied by his classmates for a long time.

One of his classmates told the Mainichi Shimbun: "He has been often told by other boys that he was smelly and dirty since he was in the first grade. Everyone pretended they didn't know it. The word "die" was once scrawled on his desk."

It's the third case that bullying led to suicide in this school since 2014.

Bullying is already a serious social issue in Japan. Although the government set up basic policy for ijime prevention in 2013, but many point out that it's not enough to prevent tragic suicides.

Besides, it is likely that bullying cases are reported in the regular questionnaires conducted at school or informed to teachers, but it seems that the school did not understand the overall situation properly.

Five years ago, a fourth grade girl in Osaka told her teacher that she was being bullied, but she was being ignored for more than a month. She began refusing to go to school, and she still doesn't go to school now.
In the investigation report on this incident last month, the municipal board of education admitted the bullying of this student and concluded that the teacher lacked consciousness.

The bullying of a student who was forced to evacuate from his home in Fukushima to Yokohama after the 2011 nuclear disaster also drew social attention in Japan. At his school, the classmates treated him like he was radioactive and called him a germ.

The Japanese government has included a provision about harassment to students suffered from earthquakes to the basic policy of ijime prevention.

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