NIIGATA (TR) – The principal of a middle school apologized on Sunday for failing to take action over the bullying of a female student over the Fukushima nuclear disaster for almost six months until her parents raised the issue.
Officials of the school apologized at a parents association meeting, vowing to help the girl return to school life and provide support for her mental well-being, TV Asahi reports (Jan. 22).
The principal said the school was “unable to identify any bullying for a long time. This is being taken very seriously.”
Multiple classmates bullied the girl since June 2015, carrying out undisclosed acts of bullying such as calling her names like “germ.”
A note was written about the bullying in July, but the victim’s teacher failed to handle the bullying.
School officials also took no action for almost six months until the girl’s parents raised the issue toward the end of last month.
A national issue
Bullying continues to be a national issue, particularly for evacuees from the Fukushima disaster of 2011.
In November, a boy was forced to hand over a total of over 1 million yen to his classmates who bullied him over his family evacuating from Fukushima Prefecture.
Police ruled that the bullying was not a case of blackmail because he handed money over on his own accord, a decision that was immediately criticized by netizens.
In 2015, bullies at a school in Tokyo blackmailed a female student into buying them snacks and drinks by threatening to expose her as a victim of the disaster.
The bullies stuffed the resulting trash into her backpack and scattered her belongings around their classroom, media reported.