Otsu school principal apologizes for not taking action over bullying
The principal of the school in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, where a 13-year-old boy was repeatedly bullied before killing himself, on Saturday apologized for not taking action to prevent the tragedy.
The news conference by principal Ichio Fujimoto was his first public comments on the bullying case which led the boy to kill himself by leaping from a building last October.
Fujimoto said that a classmate of the boy reported the bullying to a teacher six days before the suicide, Fuji TV reported. However, the teacher reportedly said that when he spoke with the boy about it, he said he was OK. The teacher discussed the incident with other teachers and they concluded it was just a one-off fight, Fujimoto said.
The principal said that the school failed in its responsibility to protect students and that teachers should have followed up on the first report of bullying, Fuji TV reported.
Meanwhile, Shiga prefecural police said they plan to question classmates of the bullied boy next week. The children will be asked if they wish their parents to be present during the questioning or if they wish to be questioned alone, Sankei Shimbun reported.