Gov’t to launch survey on school bullying after 12-yr-old girl’s suicide
The education ministry said Wednesday that it will conduct a nationwide survey of bullying in schools following the suicide last month of sixth-grader Akiko Uemura, in Kiryu, Gunma Prefecture. Uemura’s mother found the 12-year-old hanging by a scarf from a curtain rail in her room Oct 23. It is believed the girl took her own life due to bullying at school that apparently started sometime last year after her mother, who is from the Philippines, visited the school for an event.
After an initial denial, Niisato Higashi Elementary School admitted Monday she had been a frequent target of abuse by classmates. The education ministry said it has told prefectural boards of education to conduct periodic surveys on bullying. The ministry also urged schools and local-level authorities to cooperate with families of schoolchildren to deal with the problem.
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