Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Nagano fails to protect against bullying

This article appears in full in the Daily Yomiuri.

I have paraphrased it - our local Board of Education should be hanging its head in shame. Ten years since the law was passed. That is a generation of school kids still not being protected as they legally and morally should be.

"Municipal boards of education in 389 cities, towns and villages have not established procedures to suspend students for bullying or violent behavior at school, despite being required by law to do so, according to the education ministry.

The School Education Law was revised in 2001 in the wake of a spike in cases of serious bullying and violence in schools, obliging municipal boards of education to set rules for such students to be temporarily barred from attending primary or middle schools.

The ministry conducted the survey in December, in the wake of the suicide in October of a sixth-grade primary school girl who had been bullied at a school in Kiryu, Gunma Prefecture.

"The priority should be protecting the lives of the victims of bullying. Aren't there some cases where officials should be brave enough to bar students from attending school?" asked Midori Komori, director of Gentle Heart Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing bullying. 

Komori's daughter killed herself at age 15 in 1998 in Kanagawa Prefecture.

In Nagano Prefecture, more than 70 percent of the municipal boards of education have not taken the required action."

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