Mother reported alleged extortion to school teacher

Kyodo

The mother of a 15-year-old allegedly bullied out of millions of yen by other boys reported an unauthorized withdrawal of 500,000 yen from her bank account to her son’s teacher in July, it was learned Thursday.

Three youths were arrested Wednesday for allegedly assaulting the boy and extorting 9 million yen from him. They and several other children are believed to have amassed 50 million yen from the boy since July.

The victimized boy’s junior high school said the boy’s mother approached a female teacher about the missing money soon after the extortion began. The school said that the first time the other children bullied money — roughly 190,000 yen — from the boy was about 10 days before the reported withdrawal. Their demands apparently escalated during that period, the school said.

Thursday’s revelation indicates that the school had an opportunity to discover what had been going on, but failed to take sufficient measures to correct the situation.

Sources close to the case said the school had not been aware that the boy was hospitalized in January for broken ribs allegedly sustained when he was beaten by classmates until a parent of another student pointed it out.

“If we had stepped in (at the time), we may have been able to minimize the damage,” principal Tsuneyuki Yokoe admitted during a news conference Thursday.

According to the school, the boy’s teacher notified the boy’s mother that he had come to class late with a boy with whom he never usually associated.

The teacher and mother asked the boy about the missing money at the time and the boy replied that a friend had borrowed it and that he had also treated some friends to meals.