Teacher foists political views on students

Kyodo

An Aichi Prefecture high school teacher gave zero points on an exam to students who said they supported the deployment of Japanese troops to Iraq, the prefectural board of education said Friday.

The male teacher, whose name was withheld by the board, awarded students who answered that they opposed the dispatch five points. The teacher gave only zero or five points for answers.

The board has instructed the school to remove the question from the test score totals, saying the question was “inappropriate and lacked consideration for students and parents who hold different opinions.”

The board said the teacher included the question on a midterm exam on Japanese history that he gave to 80 students in two third-year classes.

Appropriate answers to the question, given to students after the exam, were “(Japan) must not send military troops to other countries,” or “I oppose the dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces.”

The test key said that answers, including “If (sending) the SDF is unconstitutional, we should revise the Constitution,” and “The SDF is doing good for the Iraqi people,” were in bad taste.

Japanese ground troops are currently in southern Iraq on an aid mission and airmen are stationed in Kuwait to assist with the reconstruction efforts.

But the deployment remains controversial due to the pacifist Constitution and deteriorating security situation in Iraq.