TOKYO (TR) – Five top school officials of a university-affiliated high school were reprimanded on Monday over inadequate handling of a bullying case where one of its students was the victim of an assault that resulted in a broken wrist and a brain concussion.
Tokyo Gakugei University said at a press conference that the five top officials of Tokyo Gakugei University Senior High School, including the principal and vice principal, were reprimanded for delaying their report on the abuses suffered by the student to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology by some six months, the Sankei Shimbun reports (Nov. 29).
The gender and age of the victim will not be disclosed as per their parents’ wishes, university officials said.
A report by a third-party committee launched by the university found that there were five recognized instances of bullying from May to September in 2015.
The cases include a student at the high school that broke the victim’s wrist after pushing him to the floor during a sports day, who also slammed his body hard enough to cause a brain concussion, the report said.
Multiple students also jeered the victim as he was forced to lick a cicada larva, the report said.
Teacher failed to report brain injury, bone fracture
The school launched an investigation after the victim’s parents informed school officials that their child was “bullied by a classmate” in September 2015.
School officials instructed the bullies to study at home, but only reported the case to the education ministry in March after they deemed the case to be a “serious” case under the government’s anti-bullying law, university officials said.
The third-party panel also found that the victim’s teacher failed to make necessary reports about the bone fracture and brain concussion.
‘Lack of awareness’
Toshisada Deguchi, president of Tokyo Gakugei University, said the “individual perceptions of the serious events were lacking.”
“The lack of awareness on the part of those involved ended up prolonging the situation, and not only that, but the affected student and parents were made to suffer,” Deguchi said. “I am full of regret.”
An undated message by Deguchi on the university’s official web site states that “Society must address the issues of poverty, regional conflict and school bullying.”
Tokyo Gakugei University touts its policy of contributing to a society where “human rights are respected and all peoples coexist.”
The university is known to be one of Tokyo’s more advanced schools, with 57 of its students in fiscal year 2016 moving on to the University of Tokyo, the Sankei reported.