A high school teacher was charged by prosecutors on the 4th of July for physically abusing a student, who eventually committed suicide last year. No, this is not the story of Koya Yoshimoto from the recent TV drama Kazoku Game. This is a real case that happened in Osaka.
Hajime Komura, a teacher and basketball team adviser at the Sakuranomiya High School, is indicted of inflicting physical abuse on a 17-year old. The student, who had become the captain of the basketball team, suffered beatings from the 47-year old teacher. The beatings were said to be the teacher’s punishment to the student when he didn’t meet expectations or performed poorly.
Reports on Komura slapping the student and hitting him on the head a number of times on December 18 were noted in the documents submitted for criminal charges. The student was also said to be hit by the teacher during practice games. He has also nursed wounds for three weeks before finally healing. During a practice in December 22, the student has suffered the same injuries, leaving him with wound on his lip as well as other wounds. The following morning, the high school senior was found by his family lifeless in his room.
A group from the Osaka Municipal Government said that the teacher’s abuse increased in September, when the student became a captain of the basketball team. There had been reports of bullying-related suicides among students, but it’s not usual that a teacher is charged responsible for a student’s suicide. Because of the gravity of what happened, an open trial court is now being considered for the case of Komura.