Education ministry shocked by scale of corporal punishment

Posted on August 10, 2013. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death, Bullying | Tags: , , |

NATIONAL AUG. 10, 2013 – TOKYO —

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology says it is stunned by the results of its questionnaire into the use of physical discipline in the nation’s schools, which suggest that cases of corporal punishment against pupils are far more numerous than previously thought.

According to the ministry, the questionnaire was prompted by national outrage following the suicide of a high school student in Osaka, who hanged himself on Dec 23 last year after enduring repeated beatings by his basketball coach at Sakuranomiya Senior High School. The boy told his mother he had been struck 30 to 40 times the day before he died, according to the Osaka Board of Education.

In an attempt to discover the scale of the problem, the ministry questioned students from both public and private schools to ascertain how many instances of corporal punishment had taken place in fiscal 2012. According to the investigation, 6,721 cases were revealed at 4,152 schools nationwide, representing a 13-fold increase on the official figures for the previous year, TBS reported.

Around 5,415 cases of physical violence against pupils were reported at the nation’s state schools alone, the ministry said. The massive increase in the number of cases has been attributed to a growing number of students who are complaining after incidents of corporal punishment, whereas before, they did not.

In a statement commenting on the results of the study, a ministry spokesperson said, “We are still reacting to the data, which has shown us how incomplete our understanding of the issue has been until now,” TBS reported.

Japan Today

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