From The Mainichi
September 29 2022
YASU, Shiga — A homeroom teacher at a municipal elementary school here has been replaced for bullying a student he thought had a developmental disability, sources close to the city education board have told the Mainichi Shimbun.
Another teacher overseeing a class in a different grade was also replaced at the same school in the 2021 academic year for bullying students.
According to the sources, beginning in May this year, the second grade teacher in his 50s repeatedly told one of his students, “You really don’t know your words,” when the boy asked him questions in class. The teacher also called hime “so annoying” several times, as well as saying, “Let’s ignore that” when he spoke, among other abusive comments.
At the end of the first term, the teacher was quoted as telling the class, “We’re going to have a word quiz, but not for everyone, just for XX-san. Because he doesn’t know words.” Students in the class allegedly began to mimic their teacher’s attitude, saying things like, “Let’s just ignore what he says,” and “You don’t even understand those words.”
At a July parent-teacher meeting, the homeroom teacher told the boy’s mother, “Your child has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and should be tested for developmental disabilities as soon as possible.” The teacher also told her that there was medication for children with her son’s condition. The boy’s parents later found out about the in-class bullying from their son.
After learning of the teacher’s behavior from the boy’s parents, in August the school held a meeting for all parents and guardians of the children in the class and apologized. The school also admitted that the teacher had repeatedly verbally bullied a particular student, and said that the teacher would be replaced in the second term.
Claiming poor health, the teacher has been on leave since the start of the second term. He furthermore wrote a letter of apology, saying, “Please don’t ever say hurtful things to others like I did,” and the new homeroom teacher read it to the class on his behalf.
In another letter to the boy’s parents, the teacher admitted that “I was clearly bullying (your son) with my comments,” and apologized, saying, “I’m not a specialist in developmental disabilities. I made a judgement bases solely on my experience, and recommended the boy see a doctor too easily.”
Meanwhile, in February this year, a substitute fourth grade homeroom teacher at the same school was replaced after he compared certain children to anime characters, leading to bullying by classmates.
The Yasu Municipal Board of Education told the Mainichi, “We take these repeated incidents of bullying by teachers very seriously. There was no problem with the boy’s behavior, and the fact that the teacher dismissed his own lack of ability and assumed instead that the boy had a developmental disability is a major problem. We will work to prevent a recurrence.”
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