Education ministry aims to connect schools with police to deal with bullying

TOKYO —

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology has sent a request to superintendents of education nationwide, asking that they cooperate more closely with police to tackle the widespread problem of bullying.

Following several high-profile cases of bullying that hit headlines last year, the ministry has established new paths of communication aimed at better connecting police stations with local schools in an attempt to more efficiently tackle the problem. Under the new system, a member of staff or a former police officer will act as a go-between, holding regular meetings with teachers and reporting pertinent information to police stations.

The ministry hopes the system will enable communities to more quickly report serious threats to police and to carry out investigations in a more timely manner.

Japan Today

  • 1

    Elbuda Mexicano

    Bullying is endemic in J society! Some J cops also bully younger weaker cops, so Japanese families must teach more humanistic values at home!!

  • 0

    warnerbro

    Dices la verdad, Elbunda Mexicano! "holding regular meetings with teachers and reporting pertinent information to police stations." Regular meetings during which the teachers will TRUTHFULLY and FULLY disclose all incidents of bullying AND corporal punishment [which is illegal] that they see or hear tell of. And the police will... I'm laughing so hard my fingers are slipping right off the keyboard...INVESTIGATE said incidents! This must be the latest comedy gag...where's the Wild darou!?

  • 0

    kwbrow2

    How about the Ministry of Education use one of their may lawyers to create and pass a bullying law. A law with teeth that has consequences for bullying.

  • 0

    Ms. Alexander

    Before the police get involved, the school itself needs to recognize bullying. If they don't see something as bullying, then there's nothing the police can investigate.

  • 0

    borscht

    Under the new system, a member of staff or a former police officer will act as a go-between, holding regular meetings with teachers and reporting pertinent information to police stations.

    So, it's too difficult for the teachers to phone the police directly? Is another layer of bureaucracy needed? Of course it is - how else can more people say "I tried to do something..." or "I told the police. It's not my responsibility"?

    I think it's sad that a Cabinet-level 'request' (not rule or law or directive as that would mean the teachers would actually have to comply and the Ministry would actually have to take responsibility) is required before teachers will call the police on bullying.

  • 0

    Scholar_Habu_86

    hum... excuse me, but... What is the point of this ? Will there be a special cop for EVERY school in Japan ? What is it gonna be next : a cop in every school ? Pardon my being blunt, but in my opinion, this is a matter that has to be dealt from the INSIDE. It is a whole SYSTEM that needs to be changed.

    If memory serves me well, Japan has no "minors tribunal" like here in Europe but rather "family courts" that try to settle things up in a smooth way. So if a schoolboy bullies another one and the victim decides to jump from a bridge, the bully cannot be prosecuted for "bullying & inciting to suicide" the poor guy. What will be the punishment of the bully ? Will he be sent to a youth detention center to think about what he has done ? I doubt it... What we DO have are bullies participating at the funeral of their victim saying that they are sorry and that they were just "goofing around". Yeah, right... Seriously, how could you face the parents of the boy you pushed in the arms of death and tell them you are sorry ?

    In the last 20 years, Japan has been stained by the blood of its own children, hanging themselves, cutting their wrists and jumping under trains because of bullying and social pressure. How many stories like this have we already heard ?

    In addition to this, you have to keep in mind that schools usually do NOT want to attract attention, and definitely not want to attract the attention of the police, otherwise their reputation might drop. And with reputation going down, inscriptions to the school go down too. And with inscriptions going down, less MONEY comes in... How many schools do you think will have the guts to report bullying cases to the authorities ?

    When I stayed in Japan in 2006, I participated in a small conference over bullying where they asked me to give my opinion on the matter of "bullying-related suicides" ("Ijime no Jisatsu" if I remember correctly). I told them that even if I am no psychiatrist nor anthropologist, I suggested that every school needs a "psychological aid center", like schools in most of European countries have. This way, a victim could ALWAYS have someone to talk to, even if he/she doesn't want to tell it to his/her family. The person in the psychological aid center should not be a teacher, but a real psychologist, so that he would be separated from the school and the family of the victim. Because as we all know, many youngsters in Japan suffer from having too much pressure from both their parents and their school. If then they also have to suffer bullying, then it is no mystery that they collapse...

    Like kwbrow2 said it before me, I would recommend the minister of justice to issue a special law in order to prosecute bullies. I am no Law specialist, but I believe that if in the last 20 years so many minors took their lives because of people bullying them and the bullies then went on with their lives as if nothing happened, then IN MY OPINION there is a huge problem.

    And one more thing : schools that have been found guilty of trying to cover up bullying (like that school that tried to ask the parents of a victim to not say a word to the authorities about bullying) should be severely punished, as there is no excuse for hiding your responsibilities in the death of a child in the name of "the school's reputation". This behavior is even more disgusting than being a bully.

    I hope I have not been too extreme in my ideas. If I have offended someone in this first post of mine, I beg you to pardon me. However, I believe that bullying is a serious matter and has to be treated with maximum priority as too much Japanese children have already died because of it.

  • 0

    Fadamor

    Just wondering... what are the police going to do? Is bullying a crime? Will a kid get arrested for bullying? If not, the only thing a police officer could do is bully the student into submission. Fighting bullying with more bullying. THERE'S a candidate for the Einstein Award for EPIC FAIL.

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