19-year-old man held over attack on Otsu education board head

Posted on August 16, 2012. Filed under: Bullying | Tags: , , , |

Aug. 16, 2012 – 06:45AM JST

Police on Wednesday arrested a 19-year-old man for allegedly trying to kill the superintendent of the Otsu Board of Education in Shiga Prefecture.

According to police, the suspect, who cannot be named because he is a minor, attacked Kenji Sawamura, 65, with a 30-cm-long hammer in his office shortly before 8 a.m. on Wednesday. Sawamura suffered a gash above his right eye, police said. Office staff subdued the suspect until police arrived.

The suspect was quoted by police as saying he wanted to kill Sawamura because of the way he covered up the bullying incident that led a 13-year-old boy to commit suicide last October, TV Asahi reported.

Police reported that the suspect is from Saitama where he attends a university. Besides the hammer, he also was carrying a piece of wire about 70 cms long, with small pieces of wood attached to each end, TV Asahi reported.

Sawamura and the education board came under heavy criticism last month for their handling of the bullying case at the school.

The father of the boy who committed suicide has filed a damages suit against the school and board of education which initially said there was no link between the bullying two weeks before the boy’s death, even though two questionnaires given to students after the boy’s suicide revealed that at least 60 students had witnessed the bullying.

After the questionnaires became public knowledge, both the school and board reversed their stance and said they believed bullying led to the boy killing himself by leaping from a building.

Sawamura was also criticized for going on a 5-day business trip to Australia last Nov 6, which was two days after the board received the results of the second questionnaire on bullying.

Japan Today

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