National

Two 12-year-old girls jump to their deaths from building in Aichi, leaving notes hinting at bullying

Kyodo

Two 12-year-old elementary school students apparently jumped to their deaths from an apartment building in Aichi Prefecture on Tuesday, leaving notes suggesting that they were being bullied, according to investigative sources.

The two girls have been identified as sixth-graders who attended the same elementary school in the city of Toyota. The city’s education board told a news conference Wednesday that it had not received any reports about the two being bullied.

A woman in the neighborhood made an emergency call at around 7 p.m. Tuesday, saying she had found two girls lying on the ground and bleeding next to the building. The two, who did not live in the complex, were confirmed dead at a hospital.

Suicide notes addressed to the school’s principal and a few friends were found in the building. They included accounts of verbal abuse, according to the sources.

The apparent suicide came just a week before their graduation ceremony. The two, who were in different classes, had gone to school on Tuesday.

According to the city’s education board, the school surveyed the students about bullying several times during the academic year, which started last April. The two did not indicate they were being bullied.

The board sent counselors to the school to provide emotional support to children who may experience shock over the deaths. It also said it will consider whether to conduct hearings with students in connection with the incident.