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Kindergarten staffer accused of assaulting pupil

FUKUOKA (TR) – Fukuoka Prefectural Police have arrested a staff member at a kindergarten in Munakata City over the alleged abuse of a male pupil earlier this year, reports Kyodo News (Oct. 21).

At some point between around 8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m on June 26, Kozue Kiyohara, the assistant principal at Hinosatonishi, allegedly slapped the boy, 6, in the face during a gymnastics class.

“Since he was crying, I just touched his cheeks with both hands as a means of encouragement,” Kiyohara was quoted in denying the allegations.

Kozue Kiyohara (Twitter)

On the evening of the incident, the mother of the boy noticed he was injured when she picked him up. When she asked Kiyohara, the suspect said that “he might have bumped into something.”

While the boy was receiving a medical examination at a hospital, he suggested that he had been slapped. A hospital staff member then alerted police.

Other incidents

On Monday, the government of Munakata City revealed that parents had reported a total of 11 incidents of violence due to Kiyohara over the past three years. Since Kiyohara became assistant principal in 2011, more than 60 childcare workers have resigned from their posts.

In another case from this year, another guardian claimed that that Kiyohara injured the mouth of their child by pressing down and holding their face. At that time, the city and prefectural governments issued a warning to Hinosatonishi.