Tokyo’s Shinagawa Ward will soon set up websites for all of its 15 public junior high schools to receive reports and inquiries from students about bullying, officials said Monday.
The move comes after a 12-year-old at a ward-run junior high school committed suicide last September after being bullied.
The ward’s board of education determined in November there was a “close connection” between the bullying and the suicide. Police are probing the case on suspicion of criminal assault.
The reports and inquiries, which can be submitted anonymously from mobile phones, will be gathered by an external nonprofit organization based in Hiroshima Prefecture. Concerns are growing, however, that by encouraging anonymous tips, the system may infringe on students’ privacy.
Hosei University Professor Naoki Ogi criticized Shinagawa’s reporting system for allowing anonymous tips.
“It is also problematic that the ward entrusts information on bullying to an outside organization, as it may lead to privacy abuses,” Ogi added.