Students forced to drink diluted acid as punishment at Aichi school

AICHI —

Middle schoolers in Gamagori City, Aichi Prefecture, were forced to drink diluted hydrochloric acid as punishment for failing to perform a lab experiment correctly.

According to the local board of education, on Jan 18, a male science teacher assigned his class an experiment using magnets and iron filings. He told the class that anyone failing to get the correct result would be forced to drink hydrochloric acid. When two students didn’t get a successful result, the teacher handed each of them a beaker after tasting a bit of it himself.

One student took a sip and immediately spat it out. The other drank all of his, later telling school investigators that it tasted like drinking lemon juice. The incident came to light after another student related the incident to his parents.

The Gamagori Board of Education reported that the teacher explained that the acid was highly diluted and therefore posed no heath risk to the children. The board itself issued a statement saying, “As this incident posed a risk to the life and health of students, it was a grave failure of leadership, and we can only apologize to students and their families. We are currently deciding on disciplinary measures for the teacher involved.”

The school administrators also visited the two students at their homes and formally apologized.

Coming on the heels of another incident when a student committed suicide after being repeatedly hit by his basketball coach, the story sparked outrage online, with many comments baying for blood.

“The teacher should be forced to drink acid too, and not diluted!”
“He’s not a teacher, he’s a mad scientist.”

However, others pointed out that at the concentration the teacher prepared, there was no risk of health problems, even if it scared the kids.

Source: Nikkei Shimbun, Livedoor

Read more stories on RocketNews24.
Tokyo Board of Education to Offer “Insect Touching Classes” to Teachers Who Are Afraid of Bugs
What’s The Best Thing You Ever Said To Your Teacher (To Make Them Completely Lose It)?
Junior High School English in Japan From the Perspective of Students: 27 Observations

RocketNews24

  • 0

    globalwatcher

    forced to drink diluted hydrochloric acid as punishment

    I cannot believe what I have read.

    Hydrochloric acid can seriously burn your skin and eats up bones . You are supposed to wash your burned area in running cold water immediately for at least 30 minutes, and then apply ointment for possible infections. This is a basic first aide procedure for hydrochloric acid spill. How on the earth, this teacher could do this? He should be criminally charged as this is very, very serious. Hope these students are doing okay.

  • 11

    Braindead

    Frankensensei

  • 5

    JonathanJo

    Sack the bully.

  • 0

    southsakai

    Sick teacher. Better get Hashimoto on this, I'm not kidding.

  • 21

    kabukideath

    @globalwatcher,

    You do realize that stomach acid is diluted hydrochloric acid don't you? That aside, the teachers actions are indefensible.

  • 3

    Ms. Alexander

    Wow! That is crazy!!

  • 1

    KariHaruka

    Sickening behaviour by this teacher. If a teacher dared to do that to either of my daughters he'd quickly find himself 6 feet under!

  • -1

    globalwatcher

    @globalwatcher,

    You do realize that stomach acid is diluted hydrochloric acid don't you?

    the hydochloric acid for industry use is really strong. I remember a case whose 1/2 of body was burned. Eventually we had to transport him to Houston Burn Center for treatment.

  • 5

    gaijinfo

    If a teacher dared to do that to either of my daughters he'd quickly find himself 6 feet under!

    Therein lies the rub. You can get away with bloody murder in this country so long as you bow and say sorry.

    It's a trick they learn in kindergarten and use their whole lives to get out of trouble.

    On the other hand, if, more often than know, some teachers got the crud kicked out of them by angry parents, they'd be scared to touch the little angels.

  • 7

    papigiulio

    If this is real he should be hanged. But could it been possible that he gave them c1000 and just pretended it was acid? The kids did say it tasted lemony

  • 7

    wontond

    We are currently deciding on disciplinary measures for the teacher involved.

    This is really a no brainer. The teacher should be terminated and never be allowed to teach again. The only disciplinary measures that need to be confirmed are the criminal charges.

  • -2

    BurakuminDes

    In most nations, this attack constitutes serious child abuse. Unfortunately here, this maniac child-abuser will likely be teaching kids again at some stage. I shudder to think of all the abuse he has handed out over the years to poor, innocent children...

  • 6

    samwatters

    Why has this teacher (and the coach from Osaka) not had their names mentioned? Why are these pieces of garbage still employed? Why haven't the police arrested these pieces of garbage?

  • 6

    kurisupisu

    What a novel punishment.....

  • 8

    Meguroman

    Whew - I certainly would be rather upset if this happened to my son, it wouldn't matter how diluted it actually was - even the idea that he would propose something like that in a classroom, let alone carry it out, is completely bizarre. What teacher workshop did he learn that fear of poisoning was a motivational tool, in North Korea? He must have some emotional issues but sounds like he'd make a better prison guard than teacher. Sayonara sensei.

  • 2

    HonestDictator

    Ideally if this "teacher" was smart, anyone failing the assignment would get their parents contacted by the teacher informing said parents to make sure their child studies harder. But nooo, he took it into his own hands in a stupid way that well oversteps the boundary of punishing a student for academic failure. Seriously there are times when its like tweens trying to raise children.

  • -3

    waltery

    A good practical science lesson if you ask me. Who hasn't eastern salt and viniegar flavouring

  • 2

    KariHaruka

    Therein lies the rub. You can get away with bloody murder in this country so long as you bow and say sorry.

    It depresses me when I say that I agree with what you're saying. Too many parents would most likely feel ashamed that their child didn't perform to the expectations. Thankfully though my mindset is different and I'd make someone regret laying even a single finger on my child.

  • -6

    joserock

    You do realize that stomach acid is diluted hydrochloric acid don't you? That aside, the teachers actions are indefensible. http://www.collegefootballwinning.com

  • 2

    ChibaChick

    And here is me this morning ploughing through a ridiculous 15 point check list for allergies for my son before they will let him into school. Whats the point if once he gets there they will be all "oh no! Dont give that boy egg! Give him a beaker of acid instead!"

    sorry, Im being facetious, but this is beyond disgusting. Sadly, as everyone says, he will almost certainly get away with it. It may simply be the same stuff you have in your stomach, but thats hardly the point.

  • 3

    tmarie

    Fire him. Someone like that has no business being in the school system.

    Japan seriously needs to do something about their education system and how they allow to teach in it. Unreal that we have to keep reading reports of idiots abusing and bullying students.

  • 4

    zenkan

    It just makes me so disappointed that there are educators like this. Two points come to mind: the teacher shouldn't be "punishing" students for getting the answer wrong. That's rubbish. Also, whether he thought the punishment was justified or not, why choose such a nutty, and potentially dangerous, method?

  • 3

    smithinjapan

    When did the incident occur? It is only coming to light now, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen beforehand, and there is no indication.

    "However, others pointed out that at the concentration the teacher prepared, there was no risk of health problems, even if it scared the kids."

    Just like those that protected (or continue to) the basketball coach -- the guy forced the kids to drink ACID. It is a gross abuse of power, and a crime to boot. Fire him immediately.

  • 1

    ReformedBasher

    Regardless of risk, it was not necessary and traumatic. Irresponsible and inexcusable.

  • 4

    overchan

    The stomach has hydrocloric acid at 2%.

  • -3

    Seirei Tobimatsu

    Who needs teachers? Risk their power harassment? Now we have internet?

  • 4

    WilliB

    globalwatcher:

    " the hydochloric acid for industry use is really strong. "

    And where does it say the teacher made them drink industrial-strength hydrochloric acid? It seems you forgot that that the article said the teacher not only diluted it down to a level of fruit juce, but also drank it himself.

    It seems to me there is less to the story than meets the eye. But of course it makes for a good screaming headline. And of course I agree it was a stupid idea.

  • -7

    my2sense

    This guy would get 20 years in the can easy back home. Then he would be beaten daily inside. Otaku Monster.

  • 4

    lucabrasi

    The headline's shocking but it seems to me the teacher was just messing about like a high school boy trying to impress the girls. I had teachers like this back in the day. The fact that one boy spat out the stuff shows that he wasn't "forced" to drink it. I doubt either boy experienced any distress and both went along with the whole thing for a laugh.

    Idiocy. But not cruel or especially dangerous.

  • -5

    hereforever

    Any doctors out there that may know the short/long term effect? Yes our stomached does have a form of hydrochloric acid but mixed with a small amount of industrial use? Could it cause damage to the stomach? Those boys should keep a daily diary for future use.

  • 10

    ebisen

    For anyone's information, humans do have a quite strong solution of HCl in their own stomachs. If what the kids drunk tasted like lemon juice it posed no health risk, as if was in a lower concentration than the one in the stomach.

    That does not excuse the actions of this stupid teacher, who should be fired and sued.

  • 3

    alimel1969

    It doesn't matter how harmful or harmless people think it is. It is an abuse of power and most middle school children would be afraid to go against the authority of a teacher. Also, he is the teacher, not the parent. It's not up to him to decide what is okay and not okay for these children to ingest. I agree that it was probably harmless but try it on my kid and see what I end up shoving down your throat.

  • 4

    WilliB

    hereforever:

    " Yes our stomached does have a form of hydrochloric acid but mixed with a small amount of industrial use? "

    What do you mean by "a form of hydrochloric acid", and by "a small amount of industrial use"??

    Hydrochloric acid is hydrocholric acid. HCl. Period. There is no such thing as "a form of HCl". And the HCl in you stomach is quite concentrated.... it is for "industrial use" if you wish. You can be sure that they were not asked to drink that concentration.

  • 1

    WilliB

    ebisen:

    My thoughts exactly.

  • -1

    Yubaru

    Why has this teacher (and the coach from Osaka) not had their names mentioned? Why are these pieces of garbage still employed? Why haven't the police arrested these pieces of garbage?

    Because there have not been any formal charges made by the police. When and if that happens then the names MAY be released.

    I had a teacher who used to talk that way but what he had done was put highly concentrated lemon juice in a container that he marked acid and used to punish kids by making them drink a shot of the juice/acid.

    Eventually everyone knew what was up, but to new students this guy scared the crap out of them and evidently the school and "old" parents knew his methods and did not complain. Different era.

  • 6

    borscht

    Aside from the idiocy of making students drink something that sounds dangerous, this sentence might say something about the level of 'science' this teacher is using.

    He told the class that anyone failing to get the correct result would be forced to drink hydrochloric acid.

    He assigns an 'experiment' that has only one correct answer. Shouldn't science teachers assign experiments to have the students 'discover' the answer, if there is only one or a variation, or a gradation? Or discover how they failed to run the experiment correctly?

    What if he had told the class they would be forced to drink diluted dihydrogen monoxide? Would it still make headlines?

  • 0

    jonobugs

    @borscht...er so you suggest that he dilute the dihydrogen monoxide with hydrochloric acid? Isn't that the same thing?

  • 1

    papasmurfinjapan

    "Well the law says I can't hit them anymore, so I made them drink acid..."

    That "teacher" should not be allowed near kids.

  • 3

    WilliB

    borscht:

    " What if he had told the class they would be forced to drink diluted dihydrogen monoxide? Would it still make headlines? "

    Judging by the reaction of the public and some of the comments here, I would fully expect that. LOL!

  • 2

    realist

    Sometimes I really despair for this country. This is barbaric. Unbelievable in 2013.

  • 2

    borscht

    jonobugs,

    so you suggest that he dilute the dihydrogen monoxide with hydrochloric acid? Isn't that the same thing?

    No, he should dilute the dihydrogen monoxide with water; the universal diluter.

  • 2

    ebisen

    Borscht,

    yes, I remember some years ago, some physical education teacher forced his students to drink UNDILUTED hydroxyl acid after their training session ended. Some parents were completely (ununderstandibly) outraged by this.

  • 3

    Salus

    this is gross.... >< think about how we always tell our kids to be good and listen to what the teachers say...

    I think all teachers should be required to take psychological tests regularly to ensure they're mentally sound.

  • -4

    Crazedinjapan

    Discipline ??? Fire him ! Arrest him ! If we did this to a pet we'd be arrested for animal cruelty ...do this to a student and there's only talk of discipline ?? What the h¥ll was going through this teachers head when he designed this punishment ...second why was there any punishment in the first place for failing to achieve a favorable result ?? Did the teachers college teach this method to him ?? What damage may have been done may not show up immediately , two years from now we'll read both of those students are suffering from gastric-ulcers or other ...

  • -1

    ebisen

    Crazedinjapan, crazed indeed.

    two years from now we'll read both of those students are suffering from gastric-ulcers

    lol, the howwor. Lemonades are more damaging than what the students drunk, as citric acid is not a natural component of our bodies. Sodas are probably also just as dangerouos. HCl is used in food industry since ages...

  • 7

    smithinjapan

    I can't believe some people are honestly defending this guy. Sure, you MAY have had a teacher like this when you were a kid -- but this is not the stone ages anymore, and the bottom line is what he did was ILLEGAL, same as what the basketball coach was doing is illegal. Not only should he be fired, he should be sued and/or thrown in jail for a stint.

  • 1

    globalwatcher

    smithinjapan, I totally agee with you. I just cannot believe some are truly defending this teacher. What's wrong with Japan? Did they lose a sense of right or wrong? He is a ciminal in my eyes and should be punished. There is something wrong in this country, IMHO.

  • -1

    basroil

    globalwatcherJan. 23, 2013 - 08:00AM JST

    the hydochloric acid for industry use is really strong.

    False, the hydrochloric acid used in industry is the same as the one used in schools and the same as that found in nature. There's only one hydrochloric acid (HCl), with different concentrations. To dilute means to make less concentrated, usually by adding water. If you make the molar concentration small enough (and this guy did, notice he tested it himself), it can be less acidic than an orange (or slightly more than lemon juice). This guy probably used 0.01 molar or less, which is uncomfortable but perfectly safe (stomach acid is up to 0.15 molar).

    borschtJan. 23, 2013 - 09:39AM JST

    What if he had told the class they would be forced to drink diluted dihydrogen monoxide? Would it still make headlines?

    Probably would, considering how ignorant most people are about science, especially here where they don't have a comprehensive science education.

    He assigns an 'experiment' that has only one correct answer. Shouldn't science teachers assign experiments to have the students 'discover' the answer, if there is only one or a variation, or a gradation? Or discover how they failed to run the experiment correctly?

    I also think this was the most striking part, not the use of lemon juice (probably just that since HCl would taste more like vomit), but the experiment itself, since you're supposed to teach the scientific method, not the japanese method.

  • 0

    WilliB

    globalwatcher:

    " He is a ciminal in my eyes "

    What exactly is the criminal offense in your eyes? (Note: Bad teaching ideas are not "crimes").

  • 4

    FightingViking

    As far as I'm concerned, it isn't a question of "dangerous" or not it's a question of : "Do that to my kid and see what happens to you..." A very "strange way" (to say the least) to teach... and what's to stop the other students from starting to bully the two who didn't get the correct answer ?

  • 4

    cierzo98

    For those posting here and trying to claim it wasn't all that bad - whether the teacher forced them to drink very diluted HCl (similar to stomach acid - as some have claimed) or whether he actually gave them diluted lemon juice is mostly irrelevant. They thought they were having to drink HCL and probably expected it would harm them, but cooperated due to fear of their teacher. Is that something any child should go through in pursuit of education? Should they even be punished at all for their practical experiment failing to work? Unless they were messing around it is their teachers' responsibility to ensure that their practicals work out properly. Bad behaviour can be punished but punishing failure to achieve is not education and this kind of action is not punishment, it is abuse. There is a certain sadistic streak in teacers here - for whatever reaosn.

  • 0

    Salus

    I think it's not right to force student to drink ANYTHING! let alone acid.... -.-"

  • -2

    globalwatcher

    globalwatcher:

    " He is a ciminal in my eyes "

    What exactly is the criminal offense in your eyes?

    Good question. WillB.

    1)The teacher is in a position of trust who should have a higher moral standard.

    2) The teacher had a solid INTENTION to cause bodily injury for punishment.

    3) He is a science teacher who understands the consequence of mishandling the chemicals. Therefore, this is not a negligence.

  • -1

    Crazedinjapan

    Ebisen, I noted that in the story above they didn't give a percentage or a comparative as to how much of the dilute he made and In what concentration. You are comparing to an unknown and how can you trust anyone in saying its dangerous or not with knowing that. No percentage, no breakdown....no comparative. I think you've missed the main point of the story .....it's showing a abuse of power with reckless disregard for students health and well being by a person who parents put their whole trust in in ensuring that their children aren't abused or put in harms way.

  • 2

    danalawton1@yahoo.com

    Even if he made them drink bottled water it would still have been wrong.

  • -1

    WilliB

    globalwatcher:

    " 2) The teacher had a solid INTENTION to cause bodily injury for punishment. "

    Come again?? Where in the article did you read that? From what the article states, I can only see that no bodily harm was intended, or even possible.

    Again, that it is a bad teaching idea to force the students to drink anything, is a different topic.

  • -1

    Kabukilover

    Yeah, sick teacher but not uncommon. This would not happen if enforcement of the law did not stop at the school gate.

  • 1

    gaijintraveller

    When I was at school, my chemistry class all drank dilute phosphoric acid. We put a little in a boiling tube and diluted. This was then further diluted. We were then told to taste it. It tasted like lemonade. I still think that particular chemistry teacher was one of the best teachers I have ever had. His experiment was quite valid.

    For those who do not know, let me tell you that the reason it tastes like lemonade is that lemonade and other soft drinks actually contain phosphoric acid.

    If the teacher is criminal, at least more criminal than soft drink companies, it would be because he was making them drink an insufficient dilution of acid, which does not seem to be the case. It seems he made an error of judgement, but was not criminal.

    For those who consider his action to be a danger, I have this to say: Enjoy your next can of carbonated soft drink and then read what goes in it.

    Food additive

    Food-grade phosphoric acid (additive E338) is used to acidify foods and beverages such as various colas, but not without controversy regarding its health effects.[5] It provides a tangy or sour taste, and being a mass-produced chemical is available cheaply and in large quantities. The low cost and bulk availability is unlike more expensive seasonings that give comparable flavors, such as citric acid which is obtainable from citrus, but usually fermented by Aspergillus niger mold from scrap molasses, waste starch hydrolysates and phosphoric acid.

  • 4

    Mr Messy

    It's a science lab, not a kitchen! In a room full of dangerous chemicals, you should never eat or drink in a lab. Safety 101! How clean was the flask? Were there any impurities, heavy metals or contaminants in the acid or water? Clean breach of OHS rules. Making them drink it should be a criminal act!

  • 5

    alimel1969

    I think that many are missing the point. It's not about what the kids were made to drink but the motivation behind this teachers action. It was a form of punishment by use of fear and intimidation. Are you really okay with your child being taught with fear of bodily harm? I don't believe that it is and it seems that there are many who agree with me.

  • 3

    globalwatcher

    danalawton1@yahoo.comJan. 23, 2013 - 11:45AM JST

    Even if he made them drink bottled water it would still have been wrong.

    Actually there has been a similar case here against athletic coach FORCING athlet to drink energy drinks. The athlet ended up dying because the energy drink had too much caffein in it causing his heart to fail. Name of energy drink is a "Monster".

  • 2

    globalwatcher

    WilliBJan. 23, 2013 - 11:46AM JST

    globalwatcher:

    " 2) The teacher had a solid INTENTION to cause bodily injury for punishment. "

    Come again?? Where in the article did you read that? From what the article states, I can only see that no bodily harm was intended, or even possible.

    Again, that it is a bad teaching idea to force the students to drink anything, is a different topic.

    Not enough evidence was given on this article. However, if I were a prosecutor, this is where I hit him hard. Why were they forced? No excuse here.

  • 4

    Disillusioned

    Yep, the Japanese are always com aiming about bullying in schools, but as I have said many times, most of it comes from the teachers. This offense is common assault that could have killed this kid. So what if he says it was diluted. It is still assault and he should be arrested and charged! What are they actually trying to teach kids in Japanese schools? The three B's? Bashing, Belittling and Bugger all???

  • 5

    Wonbatto

    As long as the solution is sufficiently dilute, there's little physical danger posed to the children who drank it. Nevertheless, the teacher needs to be bounced for 2 reasons:

    1) Forcing a child to drink lab chemicals, even if reasonably safe, if a clear effort to intimidate and establish control. The teacher likely has some serious emotional issues of his own.

    2) You don't ever, ever, ever eat laboratory reagents. Even formerly accepted practices like mouth pipetting (even of water) are no longer used. You might very well find edible stuff in a chemistry stockroom - deionized water, table salt, sucrose, etc. They aren't fit for human consumption. Any teacher who thinks otherwise, especially in the context of intimidating students in this way, is both a bad teacher and a bad scientist.

  • 1

    WilliB

    alimel1969:

    " Are you really okay with your child being taught with fear of bodily harm? I don't believe that it is and it seems that there are many who agree with me. "

    I agree with that. I do not agree that this rises to the label of "criminal". Wrong is one thing, criminal is quite another. Some of the hysteric comments here are way out of proportion.

  • -3

    gogogo

    Assuming the kids were messing about and not just made a mistake I'm in favor of the interesting punishment.

    There is more acid in orange juice and redbull. I say good for the teacher making the kids learn something about acid's via a punishment.

    The parents calling for "blood" on other hand I am more worried about.

  • 1

    ebisen

    probably just that since HCl would taste more like vomit.

    Basroil - vomit tastes like vomit because of the bile (and the alcohol, in my case :)) ). HCl tastes just like lemon juice :) (or almost any other diluted acid)... that is: sour.

  • -2

    Salus

    I don't understand why people here keep arguing on whether the acid is OK/normal/dangerous/harmful or not. It says the teacher made them drink the acid as 'punishment' but not a part of the experiment where you're asked to 'taste' what it's like - that itself, I think, is wrong!. What if the teacher makes the student drink his own pee?? it's definitely not fatal. Does it mean the teacher is ok?? I totally don't think so...

  • 1

    globalwatcher

    DisillusionedJan. 23, 2013 - 12:12PM JST

    Yep, the Japanese are always com aiming about bullying in schools, but as I have said many times, most of it comes from the teachers.

    Not only teachers, poor parenting skills, selfish otaku culture, poor political leaders including Aso who said "Hurry up and die". What do you expect?

    My kids raised money by selling "girl scout cookies" for summer campings, Eagle Scout, volunteered for hospitals and Hubitat for Humanity while they were in high school to learn good moral standards. There are no such mentoring organizations available for Japanese kids.

  • -2

    Disillusioned

    Globalwatcher - You are right! Kids in Japanese learn their morals from their teachers at school. Gawd help Japan!

  • -2

    alimel1969

    @WilliB - agreed. I also don't believe that there was actual criminal intent as the teacher himself tasted it beforehand. It's the do or die method of teaching that I have a problem with.

  • 2

    smithinjapan

    gogogo: "Assuming the kids were messing about and not just made a mistake I'm in favor of the interesting punishment."

    You, as with many others and which is unbelievable, have missed the point entirely. It doesn't matter so much WHAT they drank as the fact that they were FORCED to drink by a power-jockeying bully. It's illegal, and it's high time the police started getting involved in bullying (by both teachers and students) and arresting the people who commit such acts. Corporal punishment is against the law, so why is no one doing anything about the basketball teacher aside from a suspension? Why do so many people here think it's perfectly okay, and even encourage, people to break the law when it's convenient or if they think there's a lesson to be learned?

    THe school and the board defending this guy is going to land them in as much hot water as he should be in -- they should be quick to can him, and the parents file lawsuits. If the school acts quickly to punish him by firing and not just some one-week leave or dock in pay, then it will look like they are acting. Instead, they are defending him like many posters on here: "It was not a harmful level", "There's more acid in orange juice!", etc. It's pathetic, and if and when it happens to your kids I doubt you'll find it quite as 'interesting'.

  • -1

    globalwatcher

    DisillusionedJan. 23, 2013 - 12:31PM JST

    Globalwatcher - You are right! Kids in Japanese learn their morals from their teachers at school. Gawd help Japan!

    Glad you see my point. Teaching moral has to be done before kids are 12 years old, and it is just like saving penny in a jar. After age 12, I did not have to decipline my kids. Most parents miss this opportunity (til age 12) to decipline their kids properly and wonder where they went wrong. Also we GREW UP TOGETHER, and I am still their best friend.

  • 1

    heretoolong

    Actions like that should result in immediate suspension without pay, loss of teacher license, and a good swift kick to the head. That is preposterous, and the Kyoiku Iinkai supporting him is even worse.

  • 1

    genki5

    Wow! And Hashimoto wants kids to return to 6 days of this sort of 'education?' Hmmmmmm? Five days is enough, for certain!

  • -9

    gogogo

    @smithinjapan: No I didn't, vote me down if you wish. Japanese kids are out of control. The guy is a science teacher, he obviously knew what he was doing because he tasted it before hand, kids are punished all the time. When I was in school I was FORCED to pick up trash as a punishment, the science teacher knew the kids were IN NO DANGER.

    The parents calling for blood is sickening and more of a problem.

  • 1

    Soseki

    What about the possible negative psychological reactions? If the student who drank it all would have had a case of heartburn later that day would he have thought that the teacher was lying? The teacher's actions were inexcusable and he deserves to be fired but he will probably just be transferred to another school.

  • 0

    hatsoff

    However, others pointed out that at the concentration the teacher prepared, there was no risk of health problems, even if it scared the kids.

    (article)

    FFS! While there are morons around who think like this, these kinds of incidents will continue to happen.

  • 1

    globalwatcher

    WilliBJan. 23, 2013 - 12:14PM JST

    alimel1969:

    " Are you really okay with your child being taught with fear of bodily harm? I don't believe that it is and it seems that there are many who agree with me. "

    I agree with that. I do not agree that this rises to the label of "criminal". Wrong is one thing, criminal is quite another. Some of the hysteric comments here are way out of proportion

    Why a majority of Japanese still does not get it. This is a bullying by the teacher. Bullying is a crime. You guys have a long way to go to eliminate bullying in society. Good luck.

  • -1

    Gaijintoday

    In agreement to a commentator above. If someone did this to my kid I'd flat out murder him and get away with it.

  • 2

    Disillusioned

    Globalwatcher - Also we GREW UP TOGETHER, and I am still their best friend.

    Yep, you are right again! Discipline does not come from intimidation. Discipline comes from a clear and steady example from the parent/s. Parents and/or teachers cannot discipline kids until they learn to discipline themselves. This so-called 'teacher' is a whacko and should be fired and charged with assault. I know how I would feel if he made one of my kids drink acid (diluted or not).

  • 2

    LiveInTokyo

    ... others pointed out that at the concentration the teacher prepared, there was no risk of health problems, even if it scared the kids.

    That kind of thinking is just plain crazy. The kids might have been thinking, "What? We are being to drink ACID??? You can die from that stuff, right?". I really dont care if the teacher drank it too, that doesnt make it right or justifiable under any circumstances. I`d go berserk if someone tried to make my kid drink acid regardless of its strength. Acid is NOT a drink. To force that kind of mental anguish on someone is unforgivable. Not only the teachers, but some members of this society who support this kind of punishment as mentioned in the quote .... where is it all going to end? There is something seriously wrong here.

  • 1

    papasmurfinjapan

    I have to side with gogogo here. Everyone is really getting their knickers in a knot about nothing.

    You are all harping on about "punishment", but the truth is you have no idea what happened. Note the parents of the children in question did not complain. It was the parent of another child in the class that made the complaint.

    Though you probably all have images of a power hungry science teacher bullying these poor innocent kids, let me propose to you this scenario:

    Could he not be a dedicated science teacher who thought it would be an interesting way to make his lesson a bit more fun by implementing a "batsu-game" for the kids who didn't do the experiment correctly? Two kids failed, so he brought them to the front of the class. Surrounded by other students the teacher demonstrated that what the kids were about to drink was completely safe by drinking it himself. Then the students drunk the solution to cheers and applause from their classmates. All the kids left the lesson with smiles - thank you teacher for the wonderful lesson.

    The lesson was so memorable, one excited kid went home and told his mum about his cool science teacher. The problem is mum is an over-protective monster parent who felt outrage and called the principal, leading to this storm in a teacup.

    I'm not saying this is what happened, but in my experience with Japanese teachers, it seems more plausible than this Power Hungry Evil Monster Mad Scientist forcing beakers of acid down kids throats.

  • 0

    basroil

    LiveInTokyoJan. 23, 2013 - 01:23PM JST

    . I really dont care if the teacher drank it too, that doesnt make it right or justifiable under any circumstances.

    Nobody is justifying the act, rather telling over-reactive and plain ignorant people that there was little to no chance of even insignificant harm. Could have been regular tap water for all it's worth.

    I`d go berserk if someone tried to make my kid drink acid regardless of its strength. Acid is NOT a drink.

    Don't let your kids drink: soda, fruit juice, water with lemon, sports drinks, or their own spit. Acid IS drinkable and in fact you drink plenty of acids every single day. As with this concoction, the acidity is low and your body is used to stronger stuff.

    The kids might have been thinking, "What? We are being to drink ACID??? You can die from that stuff, right?

    If they had been paying attention in class they wouldn't be thinking that at all, rather "oh god this is going to taste like crap". I think people here need to pay attention in class more often, they over-react to the smallest things.

    smithinjapanJan. 23, 2013 - 12:45PM JST

    You, as with many others and which is unbelievable, have missed the point entirely. It doesn't matter so much WHAT they drank as the fact that they were FORCED to drink

    That is entirely the point the more educated posters were making. The kids weren't in any harm, but the action shouldn't be allowed anyway.

    Instead, they are defending him like many posters on here: "It was not a harmful level", "There's more acid in orange juice!", etc. It's pathetic

    The only pathetic thing here is assuming that correcting flawed statements is a sign of support. Many people dislike when ignorant people spout things like "it's dangerous" or "it's industrial materials, not natural acid" just as much as they dislike kids being forced into obtaining the "right" answer or facing punishment.

  • 2

    papasmurfinjapan

    By the way, the science teacher in question is 23yrs old, which suggests to me he is just an inexperienced teacher eager to make his lessons interesting for his students, and made a stupid mistake. His mistake is not that he made them drink the diluted acid, it's that as a newbie teacher, he failed to realize how over-sensitive some parents are.

    A more experienced teacher is scared sh*tless of the parents, because they know one false move and the parents (and internet community as we have seen here) will be calling for blood. This is why the Japanese education system is failing - because teachers have to walk a tightrope between educating their students effectively and pleasing the parents who complain about anything and everything. Teachers can't discipline kids anymore, so classrooms are getting out of control. It's a bloody hard job for crap pay - give the poor inexperienced teacher in his first year on the job a break. His career doesn't deserve to be destroyed because of this.

    Did he make a mistake? Yes. Is he a criminal? No.

  • 1

    blendover

    Problem 1

    Who is most likely to get an experiment of that nature wrong? Your weakest kids in terms of being able to follow procedures in a concentrated way. In the more severe of cases, kids who might be labelled ADHD and in your less severe cases, kids who get labelled either dumb, troublemakers or both.

    The worst possible treatment to give kids of that nature is public attention to their failings. Whether it is done in a severe or a light hearted fashion, it will only add to their behavioural difficulties and not improve them.

    Problem 2

    Who is most likely to take the wrong message from this event in terms of how to deal with substances, and think that it is OK to just down whatever? The very same kids who you picked on and a few others in the class besides. They might easily try something daft of that nature in other circumstances with disastrous results.

    These are things that teachers should know about as a result of their training, and if they don't then they need re-training in a big way. Personally, I don't think this teacher should necessarily be prosecuted or fired. The latter would depend on his overal performance aside from this incident. But I certainly do think that he should get some serious supervision of his work in the future.

  • -4

    WilliB

    Disillusioned:

    " I know how I would feel if he made one of my kids drink acid (diluted or not). "

    So you never drink any frut juice? Any coffee? Anything with vinegar in it? Newsflash for you: all diluted acids.

  • -4

    lucabrasi

    @papasmurf

    Great post. You envisioned the scenario in exactly the way I did, only you had the energy to set it down.

    We had a big fat French teacher (like here, a young bloke) who used to "beat up" students for getting the answers wrong. To an oversensitive parent, this might have seemed outrageous but we kids loved him. It became a badge of honour to be "sorted out" by him.

  • -2

    gogogo

    basroil: Exactly, he was trying to make educatation fun, the punishment was just a gag punishment.

    There is more acid in cola!

  • 2

    Disillusioned

    WilliB - So you never drink any fruit juice? Any coffee? Anything with vinegar in it? Newsflash for you: all diluted acids.

    Yeah, I have drunk them plenty of times, but because I wanted to. I was never made to drink any acids by a school teacher who was hell-bent on disciplining, intimidating or frightening me. Quite a difference, don't you think? So, how would you react if one of your kids was made to drink acid at school as a disciplinary action? Would that be OK with you? Really?

  • 0

    Serrano

    "He told the class anyone who failed to get the correct result would be forced to drink hydrochloric acid"

    At that point, the entire class should have roared with laughter and told the "teacher" "Good one, sir!"

    "When two students didn't get a successful result, he handed each of them a beaker"

    At that point, the students should have taken the beakers and had the contents tested by an independent laboratory, and if the tiniest amount of hydrochloric acid was present, the "teacher" should be arrested and charged with endangering the health of the students.

  • -2

    basroil

    SerranoJan. 23, 2013 - 02:32PM JST

    At that point, the students should have taken the beakers and had the contents tested by an independent laboratory, and if the tiniest amount of hydrochloric acid was present, the "teacher" should be arrested and charged with endangering the health of the students.

    Labs can measure hydrochloric acid concentrations far smaller than you could ever think to imagine. Anything less than about 0.01 molar is perfectly safe if you were to drink it yourself, lemon juice concentrate is stronger.

    gogogoJan. 23, 2013 - 02:19PM JST

    Exactly, he was trying to make educatation fun, the punishment was just a gag punishment.

    If he had done other experiments, where you tell students that if they get it right they can drink their own creation (usually sugar experiments), maybe it would be acceptable. But punishing kids for bad results should never be allowed, even with grades, as long as all experiment procedures were followed. Whereas everyone is discussing some harmless acid, I (and a few others) are talking about the real harm that is bad science education.

  • 0

    WilliB

    Disillusioned:

    " Yeah, I have drunk them plenty of times, but because I wanted to. I was never made to drink any acids by a school teacher who was hell-bent on disciplining, intimidating or frightening me. Quite a difference, don't you think? So, how would you react if one of your kids was made to drink acid at school as a disciplinary action? Would that be OK with you? Really? "

    No, I would not be OK if the teacher forced my kid to drink Coca Cola, or any other junk drink. But that is a different topic. You and others are harping on the term "acid", as if that in itself was particularly nefarious. It sounds like you do not realize that your stomach is full of acid naturally.

  • -2

    tmarie

    **By the way, the science teacher in question is 23yrs old, which suggests to me he is just an inexperienced teacher eager to make his lessons interesting for his students, and made a stupid mistake. His mistake is not that he made them drink the diluted acid, it's that as a newbie teacher, he failed to realize how over-sensitive some parents are.

    A more experienced teacher is scared sh*tless of the parents, because they know one false move and the parents (and internet community as we have seen here) will be calling for blood. This is why the Japanese education system is failing - because teachers have to walk a tightrope between educating their students effectively and pleasing the parents who complain about anything and everything. Teachers can't discipline kids anymore, so classrooms are getting out of control. It's a bloody hard job for crap pay - give the poor inexperienced teacher in his first year on the job a break. His career doesn't deserve to be destroyed because of this.**

    I can tell you that when I started teaching at the age of 23 I certainly didn't think discipline should be handled in the way that he did it. Inexperience or not, this is way out of line. If he's pulling this crap at 23 to "prove" or "impress" folks, what will he be like at age 45 when the kids have zero respect for him because he clearly don't relate to kids nor have a clue about teaching? You don't punish kids for not getting the correct answer. You go back over the material and HELP them. He's creating an environment of fear and punishment which is the last thing that should be created in the classroom setting.

    The parents complaining about this are NOT over-sensitive. They have every right to complain when a teacher is totally overstepping boundaries.

    While I agree that teachers here are powerless and that many are afraid of the parents, that isn't even an issue in this case. Classrooms are out of control because of jokers like this who use intimidation as a punishment and that causes students to dislike and disrespect teachers. ALL of the teachers I know who have classroom management issues deserve to have those issues because of the way they treat their students. Those who "get" students don't have to resort to such tactics to control their classes. Kids are kids and classes do get loud, kids do get things wrong but this is NOT the way to teach nor punish kids.

    And no, don't give this kid a break. Punish him so he never pulls another stunt like this again.

  • 0

    interuni321

    OK, so technically this might not have been dangerous at the time (our stomachs are filed with hydrochloric acid afterall), if he had just threatened it (while clearly joking) I could potentially forgive, but to actually do it or pretend to do it is completely outrageous on so many levels. First it condones physical punishment and pseudo-torture, secondly it violates numerous cardinal rules of working in science laboratories, thirdly it`s an abuse of power and worse an abuse against children. There is no doubt the teacher should be sacked, and should probably face a short spell in prison for child endangerment, never mind the possibility that the children would have been scarred by such abuse!

    The board of education MUST immediately fire this teacher (or suspend pending firing) he has admitted it, there can be no excuse, you cant come back from this. They should also check to see if this was the tip of the iceberg as far as abuse goes in this teachers case and the police should be informed or should investigate without invitation. I will write to the board of education, and I recommend we all do.

    You can write here:

    https://www.city.gamagori.lg.jp/form/detail.php?sec_sec1=53

  • 1

    Balefire

    As FightingViking and others suggest, this "teacher" is teaching his students to be bullies.

    That's a pretty despicable role model. It doesn't really matter so much whether the concentration of acid was potentially harmful, it matters that he used his position of power/authority to force the students to do something fearful.

    I'm not very happy with the "demonstration" that hydrochloric acid can be harmless to drink. Yes, I know it was highly diluted. And, yes, I understand that in a twisted sort of way, that's a scientific demonstration.

    But neither the forced drinking nor the--presumably unintended--demonstration that dilute acid can be/is safe to drink were the acts of a competent educator. Japan doesn't need any more bullies, and we certainly shouldn't have them in teaching positions.

  • 1

    Tom DeMicke

    Epic Fail!

  • -4

    basroil

    interuni321Jan. 23, 2013 - 04:31PM JST

    The board of education MUST immediately fire this teacher (or suspend pending firing) he has admitted it, there can be no excuse, you cant come back from this. They should also check to see if this was the tip of the iceberg as far as abuse goes in this teachers case and the police should be informed or should investigate without invitation.

    You are advocating ruining someone's life there. It's not like in the US where he'll go work at an inner city school for a while and then hired somewhere better when he proves himself to be worthy of a better position. In Japan, getting fired means this person will never have a proper life, he'll be working horrible jobs in things completely unrelated to his degree, for the rest of his inevitably shortened life. He did make a mistake and should be forced to retake his qualifications, but to flat out fire him on a first offense of second degree stupidity is over-reacting and will simply make education even worse than it is now.

  • -1

    WilliB

    Again, what I find most scary is the hysteric reaction by many commentators here. Totally out of perspective, imho.

  • 2

    Thunderbird2

    Those of you who are debating whether or not the acid was harmful are missing the point... this was the teacher forcing his pupils to drink something they believed could harm them as a form of punishment. It's like dousing someone in water but telling them it's petrol and then lighting a match... it's sick, cruel, twisted and the teacher should be fired immediately. I certainly wouldn't want the psycho anywhere near kids again.

  • 2

    akkk1

    This is human rights abuse.

  • 1

    smithinjapan

    papasmurfinjapan: "I''m not saying this is what happened, but in my experience with Japanese teachers, it seems more plausible than this Power Hungry Evil Monster Mad Scientist forcing beakers of acid down kids throats."

    It's interesting you say no one has any idea what happened but then go on to make up a scenario which you say you find more believable. How 'bout making us up a scenario for the basketball teacher who doled out corporal punishment? Could it be that was just a batsu game, too?

    "He told the class that anyone failing to get the correct result would be forced to drink hydrochloric acid."

    The functional word being FORCED. So, batsu game, eh?

    Here's a scenario for you, then. A 23-year-old, inexperienced teacher is having a hard time dealing with trouble makers who are not interested in his class. He doesn't know what to do, and so makes this threat. When two jokers in the class fail to complete the experiment, the man has a choice: let them see it was a bluff, or carry through. He decides to carry through with it, his justification being that he takes a sip himself, first. One kid, dropout material and a jerk to boot, drinks it down and grins at teacher, who is now in even more of a pickle -- what can he do next now that he started off his flawed classroom management techniques at the top rung of the ladder instead of from the bottom and working his way up? The other kid spits it out all over the classroom and refuses to clean it up. Though the kids usually don't get along too well with their parents, they readily divulge what the teacher did to them in class because they know the teacher was wrong, and they have the power to call him on it.

    basroil: "You are advocating ruining someone's life there."

    He deserves it, plain and simple. FORCING kids to do anything that COULD be harmful (despite the protests that it was not harmful), even if it was not, is flat out wrong and could be construed as a form of corporal punishment, which is illegal. This isn't a 'oh, look, Mr. Science showed up hungover and is doing a crap job' mistake, or a, 'Mr. Science was late for work and forgot his lesson plans' mistake, this is quite serious, and a crime, really. Maybe jail time is a little harsh, but the parents have every right to sue the school and school board, and the teacher should most certainly be stripped of his license and shown the door.

  • -1

    WilliB

    Thunderbird2:

    Did you read the article at all?

    It says:

    * the teacher handed each of them a beaker after tasting a bit of it himself. One student took a sip and immediately spat it out. *

    So he drank it himsel, and one student took a sip and then spit it out. Where is all this intimiation that you rant about?

  • 3

    FightingViking

    @basroil

    getting fired means this person will never have a proper life, he'll be working horrible jobs in things completely unrelated to his degree, for the rest of his inevitably shortened life.

    "Let the punishment fit the crime" and forcing anyone to do anything so stupid shows that he is not fit to be a teacher. It's not surprising there is constant bullying among students in Japanese schools since, apparently, it's the teachers themselves who set the example ! (I'm so glad I sent my son to an International school...)

  • -1

    italiandream

    "...we can only apologize to students and their families. We are currently deciding on disciplinary measures for the teacher involved" disciplinary measures?! Why Public Prosecutor kensatsu-kan (検察官) do not react?

  • -4

    basroil

    smithinjapanJan. 23, 2013 - 05:51PM JST

    He deserves it, plain and simple. FORCING kids to do anything that COULD be harmful (despite the protests that it was not harmful), even if it was not, is flat out wrong and could be construed as a form of corporal punishment, which is illegal.

    Then by your very reasoning it's not wrong because there is no possibility of harm from very low concentrations of HCl especially after the teacher tasted it himself. From the article's statements, there was coercion, but no force or threat of force.

    That of course doesn't mean the teacher should get off free, but there's already a shortage of science teachers and even more lack of enthusiasm in science education, they shouldn't do anything drastic enough to convince the newest generation of could-be teachers to just find another job.

  • -3

    tmarie

    He did make a mistake and should be forced to retake his qualifications,

    Obviously you have little idea of how easy it is to get teaching qualification here. A few courses, two - three weeks student teaching and finished. Which is exactly WHY this guy is unprepared and hasn't a clue. Making him repeat it isn't going to change a thing.

  • 3

    Thunderbird2

    WiliB...

    So he drank it himsel, and one student took a sip and then spit it out. Where is all this intimiation that you rant about?

    He told the class that anyone failing to get the correct result would be forced to drink hydrochloric acid. When two students didn’t get a successful result, the teacher handed each of them a beaker after tasting a bit of it himself.

    You can FAKE taking a sip of something... but I am amazed that you think this is fine.

  • 0

    cramp

    revoke his license permanently

    ...grapefruit juice prolly more acidic though

  • -3

    gogogo

    If he had FORCED kids to drink orange juice o cola this would not be a problem but when ACID is in the title it is an outrage. Get a perspective people.

  • -1

    tmarie

    Gogogo, he shouldn't be forcing students to drink anything - that is the issue.

  • 0

    papasmurfinjapan

    I can tell you that when I started teaching at the age of 23 I certainly didn't think discipline should be handled in the way that he did it. Inexperience or not, this is way out of line. If he's pulling this crap at 23 to "prove" or "impress" folks, what will he be like at age 45 when the kids have zero respect for him because he clearly don't relate to kids nor have a clue about teaching? You don't punish kids for not getting the correct answer. You go back over the material and HELP them. He's creating an environment of fear and punishment which is the last thing that should be created in the classroom setting.

    The difference with the scenario I posted and what most of you are talking about is you are assuming he was "punishing" the students, whereas I am assuming he was playing a common game with them that is popular among the students themselves. If it was a harmless game, then give the guy a break. If he was really "punishing" kids in this way for failure, then punish him. That is why the school board is investigating it, and lets hope they will deal with him appropriately.

    What disturbs me though is the calls for sackings, criminal charges, beatings, and in more than one post the death of this 23yr old rookie teacher despite the fact that you have no idea what really took place. Guilty before proven innocent, it seems, is the rule on Japan Today.

    @smithinjapan

    That's right. I presented a different view on the what may have happened because the previous 80 or so posters all presume, with no facts or evidence, that this teacher is an evil bully. My point is, let's not jump to conclusions because we don't know the details. Who is being more unreasonable here? Me, asking you to all take a step back, calm down, and think about this from a different angle, or the mob calling for his head on a platter?

  • 0

    albaleo

    He sounds a bit like the chemistry teachers I had at school. All a bit whacky, but very interesting. It's not clear whether intimidation was involved. Or was it a more light hearted 'punishment' that gets shared around everyone from week to week. This week drink dilute HCl, next week sniff hydrogen sulphide, 12-volt tingle, etc. That one student spat it out suggest there was no great pressure. And there is some value in drinking dilute acid, even if just to understand that 'acid' is a natural compound, and, like most chemicals, its danger is related to dosage. I wonder if the same furore would have occurred if it had been drinking dilute vinegar, or sucking a lemon.

    On the other hand, I was once forced to eat macaroni cheese at school. And the teacher certainly didn't taste that in advance. This really did taste like vomit, and there was no spitting out allowed. After 50 years, I'm only starting to recover. I wonder if she's still alive. Maybe I can sue her.

  • 0

    FightingViking

    @gogogo

    If he had FORCED kids to drink orange juice o cola this would not be a problem

    I beg to differ... It's the FORCING part that is the problem - it was a stupid thing to do - even it had been Orange juice.

  • -2

    papasmurfinjapan

    @smithinjapan

    The functional word being FORCED. So, batsu game, eh?

    This is all semantics. You do understand this is Japan, and he was speaking in Japanese right? Sometimes the English translation of Japanese comes out a bit more forceful than the original 飲ませる = forced them to drink.

    Do you think he strapped them down on chairs, had other kids hold their mouths open, and pour beakers of acid down their throats while laughing crazily? Well, that is one possibility I guess, but I'll leave it up to your fertile imagination to guess what he actually did.

  • 1

    WilliB

    papasmurfjapan:

    " What disturbs me though is the calls for sackings, criminal charges, beatings, and in more than one post the death of this 23yr old rookie teacher despite the fact that you have no idea what really took place. Guilty before proven innocent, it seems, is the rule on Japan Today. "

    Exactly! Quite disturbing to see this mob mentality.

  • -2

    Tom Webb

    If students failed at lab experiment, they should be given a failing grade; that is why there is a grading system. The teacher should be sacked and never allowed to teach school again. If he is allowed to stay, his next punishment for failed lab experiments could be shopping off fingers, an ear, etc. Where do they find these stupid teachers?

  • -1

    smithinjapan

    basroil: "Then by your very reasoning it's not wrong because there is no possibility of harm from very low concentrations of HCl especially after the teacher tasted it himself."

    Here we go again. The other day when you pulled the 'then by your own reasoning...' you were backtracking within 30 minutes. Like I said, it does not matter WHAT they drank, but they were forced to drink it.

    papasmurfinjapan: So when you're proven wrong, it's suddenly 'semantics'? Sorry, amigo, but when someone says, literally, they will "force" someone to do something, it's not 'semantics' when you point out the fact that he said it. And sorry, given that he said what he said, it's FAR more plausible that he made them do it than your attempt at creative writing.

    "Who is being more unreasonable here? Me, asking you to all take a step back, calm down, and think about this from a different angle, or the mob calling for his head on a platter?"

    Your bias is proven in the question -- you set it up as the 'rational papasmurf' or the 'irrational people who disagree'. Obviously the people calling for his license to be revoked based on the fact he's not fit to be a teacher are being more unreasonable (that's not 'calling for his head on a platter', by the way).

    Still waiting for your creative take on how the basketball coach is innocent.

  • -2

    smithinjapan

    Once again it's simply astounding to see people shrugging this off as nothing or even defending the guy through make-believe scenarios, when it's quite clear he said he would force them to drink acid if they were not successful with the experiment. Evidently these same people chide the parents for their concern and think the parents are wrong as well. I guess the parents should be happy the kids had so much fun and this science teacher is simply amazing when it comes to teaching kids how to conduct an experiment successfully??

  • -3

    smithinjapan

    Doh! It should read "reasonable" in my comment, "...Obviously the people calling for his license to be revoked based on the fact he's not fit to be a teacher are being more unreasonable..." not UNreasonable. You could call it a Freudian slip, if you like, but that's honestly not what I believe consciously or unconsciously. Anyway calling for the man to be beaten or killed is obviously going WAY over the top, but again asking for his license to be revoked is perfectly acceptable and reasonable.

  • 0

    papasmurfinjapan

    So when you're proven wrong, it's suddenly 'semantics'? Sorry, amigo, but when someone says, literally, they will "force" someone to do something, it's not 'semantics' when you point out the fact that he said it

    Um, proven wrong? What was proven wrong and by whom? Since in essence all I have been saying is - If he is found to have used this as a real punishment, then he should be punished accordingly. - If it was just a batsu game type prank and there was no harm to the kids involved, let him off with a suspension or warning. Since nowhere have I said THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED, then there is nothing to "prove" wrong, correct?

    Your bias is proven in the question -- you set it up as the 'rational papasmurf' or the 'irrational people who disagree'. Obviously the people calling for his license to be revoked based on the fact he's not fit to be a teacher are being more unreasonable (that's not 'calling for his head on a platter', by the way).

    I have no bias either towards nor against this man. I don't know him. But I care about justice, and the demands being made here ARE unreasonable. IF he is guilty of a crime, by all means, revoke his license. The key word here is IF. Most posters seem to have already made up their minds that he is guilty, but based on what evidence? This article alone??? Are they privy to information I do not have?

    Still waiting for your creative take on how the basketball coach is innocent.

    I don't care about the damn baseball coach because it has nothing to do with this discussion.

    Once again it's simply astounding to see people shrugging this off as nothing or even defending the guy through make-believe scenarios, when it's quite clear he said he would force them to drink acid if they were not successful with the experiment.

    I am not shrugging it off, nor "defending the guy"... just offering up another possibility as to what may have happened. It is NOT clear that he said he would force them to drink acid... that is your interpretation of an English translation of a Japanese news article quoting an anonymous source reporting what he said. Talk about hearsay!! Geez..

    Let's see what Asahi reports http://www.asahi.com/national/update/0119/NGY201301190003.html 「失敗したら塩酸を飲んでもらうよ」 sounds a hell of a lot different to "I'm gonna force anyone who fails to drink acid!"

    But the mob has already made up it's mind. There's no point me trying to add a smidgen of reason to the hate-fest. Enjoy your rant!

  • -2

    basroil

    Tom WebbJan. 23, 2013 - 06:59PM JST

    If students failed at lab experiment, they should be given a failing grade; that is why there is a grading system. The teacher should be sacked and never allowed to teach school again. If he is allowed to stay, his next punishment for failed lab experiments could be shopping off fingers, an ear, etc. Where do they find these stupid teachers?

    Another clear over-reaction at the dumbest part, and completely ignoring the real issue! There should never be ANY punishment for bad results, only for improper lab work. The punishment here was no worse than a lower grade (and actually far less in the long run), the only issue is that there was any punishment for results alone. That's simply not the way to teach science.

  • 1

    Mike Walker

    Hydrochloric Acid can be diluted and its pH will increase towards neutrality. The concentration of HCL in the stomach is quite strong and can burn a hole in the stomach if there is a chemical imbalance there.This is an ulcer. In people who continually vomit the tooth enamel can also be eroded by this acid.I would suggest that the teacher did dilute the HCL in the chemistry lab many times and he did taste it first and it would taste like lemon juice or vinegar.Both dilute acids. However one of the most important lessons that students can get from chemsitry lessons is that there are many toxic and dangerous chemicals around that should not be ingested. Many that look like water.The students may now consider it a suitable punishment for others at the school,because the teacher did it, which could lead to serious problems.Best possible outcome would be a free transfer for that teacher to another school or a 5 year suspension without pay, to give him time to consider another occupation. Teachers must now be more alert than ever as many students do record these kinds of events with smartphones.

  • -6

    KariHaruka

    Don't let your kids drink: soda, fruit juice, water with lemon, sports drinks, or their own spit. Acid IS drinkable and in fact you drink plenty of acids every single day. As with this concoction, the acidity is low and your body is used to stronger stuff.

    Would you drink a glass of battery acid? Acid is drinkable after all. Kampai!!!

  • 1

    Kabukilover

    Well I see that the stupid and cowardly Japanese nationalists are giving me negative marks again. Of course that can come out of their fetid hiding places and argue with me. They can't because they know I am right. What happened in Aichi is violation of Article 11 of the Japanese Education Law. Read it yourself in Japanese. The other thing is that this law has been constantly ignored by both public and private schools. This is a very well known fact. What happened in Aichi was not only illegal and disgusting. It was also dangerous to the health of the students.

  • 2

    bjones

    Even if it wasn't dangerous it was not an appropriate action; shaken, nor stirred.

  • 2

    JoeBigs

    "However, others pointed out that at the concentration the teacher prepared, there was no risk of health problems, even if it scared the kids."

    Funny how people say these things when it not their children that that happened to.

    The teacher needs to be fired for being a complete moron.

  • 2

    Thunderbird2

    Another aspect of this is the fact that the teacher, and I use the term loosely, stated that he would punish the kids if their experiments failed. So if the kids did something wrong with the experiment they were deemed worthy of punishment?

    How about failing to score a goal in football, or a try in rugby. Does that merit a beating? How about failing to capture someone's likeness in an art class? Paint sloshed over the pupil? Punishing kids for an experiment not working is just being a bully. I don't care how simple an experiment it was, punishing kids for this is wrong... that's without the acid element.

  • 2

    Open Minded

    You cannot punish someone with highly diluted HCL. A spoon of salt would have been much more cruel from a sensation or a toxicity viewpoint and nobody would have talked about it.

    But it was the wrong way to show that HCL can be inoffensive when diluted.

  • 0

    Ah_so

    Would you drink a glass of battery acid? Acid is drinkable after all. Kampai!!!

    Silly comment - all the poster was stating was that acid liquids are drinkable. Obviously not battery acid - that would be lethal.

    Had the teacher asked the children to drink orange juice, then there would not have been any fuss. However, what he did was crazy in principle, and he should not be in theclass room.

  • -2

    Elbuda Mexicano

    This teacher is one sick BASTARD!! Arrest him! Kick his ass out of any school for the rest of his miserable life! Poor kids!

  • 0

    lucabrasi

    This is seriously the most hysterical reaction to a piece of non-news I've ever seen on this site.

    I've suddenly realised how old and unexcitable I am compared to most posters here. I think it's time to stop.

  • 0

    Fadamor

    As has been pointed out, the digestive juices in your stomach contain hydrochloric acid. But if that acid enters the esophagus then you have your standard case of heartburn. It literally is burning the lining of the esophagus. Concentrations of more than 25% HCL is classified as a "Corrosive". Concentrations of 10% to 25% are classified as an "Irritant". In order for the teacher to be correct in saying the liquid wouldn't harm the kids, the mixture would have to have been as weak as what you have with vinegar (a.k.a. a weak solution of acetic acid and water). For comparison, concentrations of acetic acid are classified at the same level as concentrations of hydrochloric acid with one addition: Concentrations > 95% are classified as both "Corrosive" AND "Flammable".

    So it really depends on what concentration he used. If it was a 1% solution... not sure that qualifies as grounds for the death penalty.

  • 2

    Open Minded

    BTW, for the ones who have no clue about chemistry and biology, HCL is massively used in swimming pools to maintain the pH at a safe level to control harmful germs. It is used as well as preservative in contact lens solutions for instance...

    Thus if this qualified teacher tasted it before giving it, he was 100% sure it was at a safe dilution level. A storm in a cup of tea for a stupid - and pretty common worldwide - academic joke. Period!

  • 0

    Serrano

    "this qualified teacher"

    He's not qualified to clean the school's toilets.

    "he was 100% sure it was at a safe dilution level"

    So you'd drink it without hesitation, right?

  • 1

    Fadamor

    Had the teacher asked the children to drink orange juice, then there would not have been any fuss.

    In my previous post, I was going to use ascorbic acid (vitamin C) as the example, but it turns out that ascorbic acid isn't as corrosive as the acid in vinegar (acetic acid). Acetic acid is just as corrosive as hydrochloric acid in equal concentrations, so vinegar was the better example of how we consume corrosive acids on a regular basis without batting an eye (and without dying).

  • -2

    WilliB

    KariHaruka:

    " Would you drink a glass of battery acid? Acid is drinkable after all. Kampai!!! "

    As many have explained, that depends entirely on the concentration. Battery acid is sulphuric acid by the way; a different chemical.

    I get the impression there is a whole lot of jt readers who slept through their science classes.

  • 6

    zichi

    This story has now reached the international press.

  • -5

    basroil

    Ah_soJan. 23, 2013 - 10:26PM JST

    Silly comment - all the poster was stating was that acid liquids are drinkable. Obviously not battery acid - that would be lethal.

    KariHarukaJan. 23, 2013 - 09:38PM JST

    Would you drink a glass of battery acid? Acid is drinkable after all. Kampai!!!

    Wouldn't drink it straight ever or diluted if it was ever used. You're talking about sulfuric acid, not HCl, and dirty sulfuric acid at that (though about same pH per molar concentration, it's not really a natural part of your body). As long as it's diluted, it's not the acid I would be worried about, rather the heavy metals dissolved in it, including large amounts of lead, especially when it has been charging or discharging. The school labs were using "pure" (always a bit diluted to be able to put it in a container without melting it or blowing up) HCl, so worst comes to worst you use cooking grade baking powder if you get an upset stomach.

  • 1

    interuni321

    basroilJAN. 23, 2013 - 05:29PM JST

    interuni321Jan. 23, 2013 - 04:31PM JST

    The board of education MUST immediately fire this teacher (or suspend pending firing) he has admitted it, there >>can be no excuse, you cant come back from this. They should also check to see if this was the tip of the iceberg as >>far as abuse goes in this teachers case and the police should be informed or should investigate without invitation.

    You are advocating ruining someone's life there. It's not like in the US where he'll go work at an inner city school for >a while and then hired somewhere better when he proves himself to be worthy of a better position. In Japan, getting >fired means this person will never have a proper life, he'll be working horrible jobs in things completely unrelated to >his degree, for the rest of his inevitably shortened life. He did make a mistake and should be forced to retake his >qualifications, but to flat out fire him on a first offense of second degree stupidity is over-reacting and will simply >make education even worse than it is now.

    Basroil, I know where you are coming from, I am pretty damn liberal myself, but sometimes people cross a line, you could accidentally say it as a joking threat, but this guy followed through. Anyone whos ever worked in a science lab at school or otherwise knows theres a cardinal rule that you dont ever put anything in your mouth, let alone swallow anything from a science lab. Even if it was really water, just the idea that you punish someone (nevermind a child) by making them drink acid is utterly repugnant - like something out of saw, on a kind of nazi experiment level. Youre assuming this guy was a great human being in most ways, and your faith in human nature is admirable, but unfortunately in my experience where there is smoke there is fire and this is probably just the tip of the iceberg where this guy is concerned. You cant take chances where children are involved, let him go and teach adults or work in one of Japans many science labs, his children teaching days need to be over. If this incident is genuinely a one off then the police can decide not to prosecute and let him off with a warning, that`s as liberal as I can be on this one.

  • 0

    interuni321

    Im stunned how many people are just pointing out the lack of physical danger. So there may well have been no actual danger to come out of that incident. So I guess you people think its okay for a teacher to bully the children, touch them up, teach them that grotesque, cruel punishments are the norm then? Just the idea of punishing someone by making them drink acid is quite abhorrent, but many people commenting are too short-sighted and insensitive to think that far ahead.

  • 5

    zichi

    Having worked in one of the worlds leading labs, I would say, this kind of example by this teacher, isn't teaching acceptable behavior in any lab.

  • -5

    basroil

    interuni321Jan. 24, 2013 - 12:40AM JST

    Anyone whos ever worked in a science lab at school or otherwise knows theres a cardinal rule that you dont ever put anything in your mouth, let alone swallow anything from a science lab.

    I've been in enough labs to know that you don't put anything into your mouth in a lab, regardless of if it's from the lab or not. Nobody is defending that aspect of it, but it also isn't being taken further than the simple negligence it is.

    Youre assuming this guy was a great human being in most ways, and your faith in human nature is admirable, but unfortunately in my experience where there is smoke there is fire and this is probably just the tip of the iceberg where this guy is concerned

    It's less faith in human nature than being a strong believer in innocent until proven guilty. You shouldn't be judging this guy from an event of this level without more evidence.

    interuni321Jan. 24, 2013 - 12:45AM JST

    Im stunned how many people are just pointing out the lack of physical danger. So there may well have been no actual danger to come out of that incident.

    People aren't pointing it out, they are explaining it in order to correcting blatantly incorrect assumptions on how science works. Someone has to take over for this science teacher, after all he was a chemistry teacher.

  • -1

    Fadamor

    So I guess you people think its okay for a teacher to bully the children, touch them up, teach them that grotesque, cruel punishments are the norm then?

    Your total lack of logic renders any statement you might have been trying to make moot. In order to explain what I mean, let me respond in kind: You don't like what this teacher did, so I guess you paint yellow daisies on the sides of 1998 model year orange Toyota Corollas. Observation/Conclusion, and the need for them to be related to each other... an important part of logical thinking. Learn it. Love it. Live it.

    This was a learning point for the students (and apparently something that needs to be re-taught to some of the readers here): Just because something has "acid" in the name doesn't mean it's always harmful. What we would need to know before condemning this is what was ALSO said during the lesson. What caveats did the teacher tell the class while preparing the solution? We don't know. The child who reported this no doubt left out anything that might make his/her story contain less danger. Had the class covered acids prior to the magnetisim module? Again, we don't know. The fact that the teacher sampled the solution before the students means he wasn't being reckless with their health. He would have known with just a taste whether the solution was too strong. Would I have done the same thing? Probably not. But some of the comments here - including "grotesque, cruel punishments" (and how much of a "punishment" can it be if the teacher sampled it first?) are a bit over the top.

  • 0

    sf2k

    Scaring kids by bullying them out of their wits. A time honoured tradition

  • 0

    sf2k

    teacher should be sacked and the school board fined

  • 1

    KariHaruka

    Guess it went over peoples heads that I was simply making an intentional over the top comment when someone said acid is drinkable when they tried to compare HCI to fruit juice...

  • 0

    ethanji

    that is a worst thing i have done in the schools... this should be stooped...

  • 1

    dracpoo2

    I noticed that Japanese teachers can still keep their jobs after doing most things that would cause instant dismissal in most other countries.

  • 0

    Kimokekahuna Hawaii

    Japanese society is losing it. When authority figures abuse the trust put in them.. it can not be put back. Bullying is an epidemic with consequences I do not want to repeat in print... this I am sure is only one example of teacher abuse.. the whole educational system is now under scrutiny as it should be. Schools have become "brands" with parents stressed from a child's birth to get into the right pre school through University.. and now only the rich can afford an education at the "right" schools.. which have proven to be no better at educating or finding jobs for its students.. than public education. Many families are not having kids because of the costs. In America bullying is finally being spoken about along with gun control. If people are afraid to send kids to school unless they are armed... what kind of society do we give our children.

    I think that more kids should stay home and learn on line. Teachers are overrated.. get rid of bad teachers.. and take the best teachers.. pay them like stars... put them on TV and on the Internet... teaching classes.. FREE.. make education FREE. Degrees are just paper.. it really does not make someone smart. And most companies retrain student anyway because they learn nothing at University but how to party and cheat on tests and manipulate or control classmates.. and then carry that mentality into the workplace. Notice how many bosses are abusive... bullies.. this is a cancer in the national psyche and workplace.. it used to be that Japan was known for being hard working, loyal, self sacrificing for the good of the country, the community, the family.. and finally one self.

    Free the knowledge and you will free the mind.. free the people.

  • -1

    WilliB

    KariHaruka:

    " Guess it went over peoples heads that I was simply making an intentional over the top comment when someone said acid is drinkable "

    For your benefit, I say it again: Acid is drinkable. Not only that, you drink some form acid every day. In fact, I am drinking my morning acid right now (coffee).

    Fact is, the term "acid" in itself means very little.

  • -1

    Gaijintoday

    For your benefit, I say it again: Acid is drinkable. Not only that, you drink some form acid every day. In fact, I am drinking my morning acid right now (coffee).

    Fact is, the term "acid" in itself means very little

    Go buy some hydrochloric acid and dilute it to you preference, drink up.

  • 0

    KariHaruka

    For your benefit, I say it again: Acid is drinkable. Not only that, you drink some form acid every day. In fact, I am drinking my morning acid right now (coffee).

    Why leave out the last bit of my comment to make it seem like I don't know that?

  • -2

    gogogo

    Forcing is NOT the problem! Teacher FORCE everything onto children, eat your lunch, do you homework, it is part of the job.

  • -3

    basroil

    GaijintodayJan. 24, 2013 - 10:51AM JST

    Fact is, the term "acid" in itself means very little

    Actually, it means a lot. Specifically means that the ratio of hydronium ions is higher than pure water, can easily be deprotonated, or that it's an electron pair acceptor. It does have little point though, since you can call something an acid in one definition and base in another, though for HCl it's an acid by all three. Doesn't specify strength either.

    Would be interesting to see what would have happened if the guy used sodium bicarbonate instead and they said "students forced to drink diluted base as punishment". I doubt there would be so many comments even if the strength of the drink was the same (but in the opposite direction).

  • 1

    Thomas Michael Lewis

    hes a Chemistry teacher Im sure he understood the nature of the chemical in question, he tasted it himself to make sure it was safe. God forbid we have teachers who understand their subject well enough to make it entertaining. Again the hysteria of the masses is more important that the scientific facts. Whats the point in experts when we ignore what they know.

  • -2

    Egil Henrik Lehmann

    In a healthy stomach (ventricle, to be exact), there is lots of HCl all the time. Why all this noise?

  • 1

    Brian Wheway

    I dont know what to say, its that mind boggling! yes the acid was dilluted to and extent it was not harmful, but the whole action could have serious knock on effect, it says its ok to drink acid, may be next time some school kid drinks acid thats NOT been dilluted as it looks and smells the same, so why not drink it?. we know why as were adults. In our school we had traning over drinking unknown fluids, may be he should show then what can happen if they drink 100% neat acid. but it should not be up to him to punish children in this way, may be he should have explained the experiment again to those children who didnt understand.

  • 1

    T-Mack

    Teacher did the wrong thing, and should be punished...The teacher failed the test, and should drink from the cup of unemployment...not harmful eigther...

  • 3

    Eva Ginger

    To the person who said

    Hydrochloric acid can seriously burn your skin and eats up bones .

    This is wrong, Hydrofluoric acid (HF) is what you may be thinking of. I worked with it for years. Do NOT get these two mixed up.

  • 1

    Moondog

    This is wild-eyed outrage based on ignorance. (Agggh. OMG it's ACID. ACID!!!! They're all gonna DIE!!! KILL "HIM!!! KILL 'HIM!!!!)

    Much ado about nothing.

  • 1

    Valerie Brooks

    Betaine Hcl is a supplement which I take. I had incurable bladder infections for 17 years til I found this substance forget about canned cranberry juice being worth a crap. I say it's a stupid thing to control students even if they were forced to drink water for getting results wrong. No reward at all should be enough....and judgmental anything may be still too much. People need to give a care about correct results, all on their own. Now when I may suspect food poisoning, I take Betaine HCL (stomach acid) and for eating sushi, etc. Great stuff to know about. Sorry the teacher has to lose his job but if he didn't...the world would be too weird doing controlling moves like this.

  • 1

    mrmalice

    diluted lemon juice huh ...

    forced to ... they actually DID that ? they didnt just pour it over his head or something. How can you force someone to do that, what if they just say no ? This bit i don't get

Login to leave a comment

OR
  • 海外営業事務

    海外営業事務
    株式会社セドナエンタープライズ、Tokyo
    Salary: ¥220,000 ~ ¥400,000 / Month Negotiable
  • African Speaking Sales manager

    African Speaking Sales manager
    JPC TRADE CO.,LTD. (株式会社JPC)、Tokyo
    Salary: ¥200,000 ~ ¥450,000 / Month Negotiable Basic Salary + Incentives
  • Recruitment / HR Generalist

    Recruitment / HR Generalist
    Temple University, Japan Campus - テンプル大学ジャパンキャンパス、Tokyo
    Salary: Commensurate with experience plus transportation from/to TUJ
  • Program Assistant

    Program Assistant
    Temple University, Japan Campus - テンプル大学ジャパンキャンパス、Tokyo
    Salary: Commensurate with experience plus transportation from/to TUJ
  • Portuguese Speaking Sales Manager

    Portuguese Speaking Sales Manager
    Autocom Japan (オートコムジャパン株式会社)、Kanagawa
    Salary: ¥270,000 ~ ¥800,000 / Month Commission Based

More in National

View all

View all