8 graffiti messages pleading for help against bullying found in Shiga
Messages complaining about bullying and ineffective teachers have been springing up in girls’ toilets throughout the city of Hikone in Shiga Prefecture. The messages, eight of which have been discovered so far, are believed to represent the cries for help of one girl suffering from bullying, officials said Thursday.
In some of the messages, made public, the girl writes, “Make the teachers stop pretending not to see bullying” and “They don’t tell off children they see smoking.”
The graffiti has been discovered in supermarkets and libraries around the city since December and the issues raised have been deemed important enough for the Shiga Board of Education to take action. The junior high school in question was identified and a questionnaire was distributed to the entire school. The survey provided the opportunity for some students to voice the fact that they are being bullied, perhaps for the first time, and for others to describe bullying that they witnessed. Teachers have been instructed to interview their students and to continue to guide and support them.
The student who wrote the graffiti could not be identified, but the words “The bullying has gotten really bad,” were found written at the bottom of one of the surveys. A board of education spokesperson said, “The individual who wrote these messages felt there was no-one she could talk to. We believe she wrote these messages as a desperate last resort. We will use every ounce of our strength to put an end to that child’s suffering. I urge her to please reach out to us any way she can.”
Compiled from news reports