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2013年9月28日 (土)

桜宮高体罰事件 有罪判決を教師暴力の抑止に

The Yomiuri Shimbun September 28, 2013
Guilty sentence must serve to deter violence by teachers
桜宮高体罰事件 有罪判決を教師暴力の抑止に(9月27日付・読売社説)

Thursday’s guilty ruling against a former teacher at an Osaka high school condemned the violence he committed under the pretext of giving guidance. The ruling must be used as an opportunity to stamp out corporal punishment in schools.

Ruling on the case in which a student at Osaka’s municipal Sakuranomiya High School killed himself after being physically punished by the former teacher who coached the school basketball club the student belonged to, the Osaka District Court sentenced the defendant to one year in prison, suspended for three years. The defendant was fired by the school after his violence against the student came to light.

The former teacher was indicted for inflicting injury by slapping the student in the face many times at a practice game because he did not like the attitude of the student, who was the club’s captain. It is very unusual that criminal charges were brought against a teacher who used corporal punishment.

The incident was witnessed by many other club members and spectators at the game. Video images shown in court showed the defendant’s violence was fierce and persistent as the sound of slapping could be heard echoing in the gymnasium.

It is natural that the ruling denounced the defendant’s acts as “nothing short of outrageous.”

The student committed suicide the day after the practice game. The court said that the victim “suffered considerable mental and physical pain, which is clear from the fact that he killed himself.” The court is believed to have judged that the physical punishment triggered the victim’s suicide.

After the ruling, the student’s mother said she had expected a non-suspended sentence. Her feelings are completely understandable.

Victory-first mindset

The ruling criticized the former teacher, saying he used corporal punishment and violence in the blind belief that such practices were “effective instruction methods.” There may be many other coaches of school clubs who are preoccupied with the same idea and believe in the victory-is-everything doctrine.

Violence did not cease in connection with school club activities even after the Sakuranomiya High School case brought this serious social problem to light. Concern remains about whether this ruling will prevent recurrences of such violence.

In the case of the volleyball club at Hamamatsu Nittai High School in Shizuoka Prefecture, the teacher managing the club was shown slapping a club member in the face more than 10 times in video posted on the Internet this month. The teacher said that he had done it “to fire him up.”

In its instruction guidelines on club activities compiled in May, the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry clearly denounces use of violence, saying, “It is incorrect to think that violence can be permitted if there is a relationship of trust between teachers and students.” It is necessary to make the guidelines well known.

It is also essential to correct the erroneous social tendency to think that corporal punishment is necessary if students’ skills are to be improved. Some of the parents of the students at Sakuranomiya High School were reportedly tolerant of physical punishment. To stamp out corporal punishment, it is necessary for parents to eliminate this attitude and keep a close eye on club coaches.

It is also essential to end the chain of violence in which students who received physical punishment repeat it after becoming club coaches.

Efforts must be made not only by those involved in school education but also by the sports world as a whole to work toward improving the quality of club coaches.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 27, 2013)
(2013年9月27日01時03分  読売新聞)


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