HYOGO (TR) – A special needs teacher in Kobe received a three-month suspension on Monday for sneaking into a middle school he used to work at to enjoy leftover student lunches with two cans of beer.
Kobe’s board of education suspended the 54-year-old teacher from the special needs school in Hyogo Ward, Yumeno, for eating leftover student lunches that were going to be thrown away, the Sankei Shimbun reports (August 15).
The teacher told city investigation officials that he “thought it would be a waste to throw the lunches away. I’ve snuck in and done this four, five times before.”
City education officials said the teacher snuck into his former workplace, a night school based in Hyogo Ward, at around 8 a.m. on Saturday, February 27, by using a spare key he made without permission when he used to work there.
The teacher sat in the staff room as he ate two portions of meals including bibimbap and fish fingers, which he washed down with two cans of 500-milliliter beer he brought, officials said.
He was spotted at around 9 a.m. by a head teacher who came in to clear up a backlog of work, and claimed he was “searching for some teaching material.”
But his ruse fell apart because of the lunches and beer cans sitting on the table, forcing him to admit he was a lunch thief.
Hyogo Station Police arrested the teacher, who worked at the night school from fiscal year 2004 to 2012, on June 28 on suspicion of illegal entry and theft.
After the teacher was released amid an investigation, criminal papers were filed with prosecutors against him on both charges on August 5.
The teacher, who is currently on sick leave, “had always thought since I was working there that it was a waste” to throw away the meals, according to the Kobe Shimbun.