FUCHU, HIROSHIMA PREF. – Inappropriate career guidance based on a wrong delinquency record seems to be the cause of the suicide of a male student at a junior high school in the town of Fuchu, Hiroshima Prefecture, last December, the town’s board of education said Tuesday.
“It appears that the student committed suicide because the school had told him that it cannot issue recommendations to a high school of his choice for its entrance examination, based on a wrong record that he had shoplifted,” the board told a press conference.
Ryochi Takasugi, superintendent of the board, said, “I, as superintendent, offer my heartfelt apology. A precious life was lost. This should not have happened.”
The boy’s father found his son lying at their house around 5 p.m. on Dec. 8. He was confirmed dead after being transported to a hospital.
According to the board of education, the boy, a third-year student, hoped to take an entrance exam of a private high school, while recommendations from junior high schools were necessary for applicants to take the exam.
As there was a record showing that the student shoplifted when he was in the first year at the junior high school, however, the school side told the boy during career guidance that it cannot recommend him.
But the school’s probe conducted after his suicide found that he did not shoplift and that the career guidance was conducted based on the wrong record.
The student would have met the criteria for having the recommendations issued if the junior high school had not made the mistake, the board said.
The board will set up a third-party panel to investigate a possible causal relationship between the career guidance and the student’s suicide.
The parents of the boy commented through a lawyer, “We absolutely believe that our son would have never taken his own life if it were not for sloppy data management and inadequate career guidance by the school.”
The junior high school came under fire at a meeting with the parents of its students, which was held earlier on Tuesday. The meeting was attended by about 450 people.
A 47-year-old self-employed man, who also has a son in the third year at the school, said, “I’ve heard that the boy was diligent and kind,” referring to the student who committed suicide.
At a school assembly held last December, after the boy’s suicide, the school explained to its students that he died of acute heart failure, as next of kin of the boy showed concerns that telling the truth could shock other students, according to the board of education.