Education ministry panel to ask schools to probe all students’ suicides

JIJI

An education ministry panel has adopted guidelines obliging schools to investigate all suicides of students around the country.

If a child commits suicide, their school should immediately seek information from family members and police, interview all teaching staff and report the initial results to the board of education in three days, according to the guidelines.

The guidelines, adopted Thursday, also call on schools to open detailed investigations by third-party experts and organizations. The ministry plans to notify education boards and schools across the country of the guidelines later this month at the earliest. The panel also proposed that schools teach classes on suicide prevention.

Based on the proposal, the ministry plans to provide schools with teaching materials and conduct demonstration classes across the country.

In June 2011, the ministry asked schools to investigate suicides of their children but failed to give clear instructions on how to do it.

On Thursday, the ministry released the results of its first investigation of child suicides based on some 500 cases reported between June 2011 and last December.

The results showed that only 2 percent of the children were suffering from bullying and 2.8 percent from corporal punishment at school. The investigation also revealed many schools had no idea about what was causing the deaths.

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  • kyushuphil

    This will be hilarious.

    At my school, deep in the mountains of Kyushu, we’ve had two suicides in the past three years. Each from very different causes.

    But in each case, the scenario is the same. All the teachers totally clam up. Total enforced-silence prevails. This combines with the tradition that kids have no personal lives — nothing worth anyone’s drawing on in any class, or in any essay writing.

    And kids don’t write essays. That requires a personal voice — and awareness that others have personal voices, too.

    Japan has one of the world’s highest suicide rates among youth — nearly triple that of the U.S. The materialism that besets Japan brings along with it many insanities. One, for instance, is that all commercials portray a world in pastel colors. Another is that all commercials feature the voices of women only as little girls.

    Kids respond with wonderment at the consumerism’s infantilizing of everyone. How can kids make sense of themselves let alone such a predatory, lying culture if schools don’t help them develop their own voices and respect for those of others?

    Schools don’t even try, so deeply are they sunk in the cynicisms of “shi-kata-ga-nai.” So the kids, despairing, off themselves. And now we have the prospect of clueless adults writing bureaucratic reports when they themselves have all graduated from this meaningless, murderous, demeaning system?