As issues of school bullying in Japan appear to be on the rise, another situation has been reported by Fuji TV on Thursday, as seven high school seniors were accused this week of assaulting younger students at a Yamanashi Prefecture high school. The students were part of the high school’s famous soccer team, with the senior members allegedly assaulting the younger ones. The high school is an affiliate of Yamanashi Gakuin University.
According to the collective reports and information gathered from questioning, the older students apparently punched and poured hot water on second year students. All of these happened in the soccer team’s dormitory bathroom. School officials have revealed that no criminal charges have been filed as of the moment. The elder students reportedly claimed they were “just having fun,” according to a school official who refused to be named. For the time being, the school has ordered the students to remain at home. Officials assured that any student who will be found at fault will be given guidance to have them understand that what they did was wrong.
Japanese schools are known to be very competitive and have very delineated student social structures. A series of bullying incidents – some which have resulted in death and suicide – in 2011 have caused Japan’s education ministry to finally put in a serious attempt in tackling the classroom culture of bullying – traditionally seen as a rite of passage in a very competitive education system. Statistics on school bullying have been varied, but official data now begins to reveal a trend that should cause concern. Regional legal bureaus in Japan responded to a record 3,988 cases last year, an increase of more than 20 percent from 2011, the justice ministry said. The National Police Agency also revealed that it had investigated 260 cases of school bullying in 2012, more than double the 113 cases in 2011.
[via Japan Today]