OSAKA — The Osaka District Court ordered a male junior high school teacher Sept. 25 to pay 500,000 yen in compensation to a former female colleague whom he harassed.
The 37-year-old plaintiff, a fellow teacher at an Osaka municipal junior high school, filed suit with the district court in 1994, claiming the man harassed her by making up and spreading disgraceful rumors about her. The defendant, who is in his 40s, told other teachers on the train and at bars that the plaintiff was too aggressive and selfish but wept before the principal to influence his decisions on school matters, according to the ruling.
Other rumors originated by the defendant include one that claimed the plaintiff was sexually frustrated, the court ruled. The male teacher moved to another school last year. The names of the teachers were not provided.
Presiding Judge Masaharu Otani ruled that the defendant repeatedly told such rumors between June 1993 and 1994 because he was jealous of the women’s skills as a teacher. The acts consisted of harassment or bullying, the judge said, because they infringed upon the plaintiff’s human rights and were therefore illegal.
After the ruling, the plaintiff said she was satisfied. “I was neither touched (inappropriately) nor told such remarks directly by the male teacher. But his acts constituted harassment and discouraged me in my work as a teacher,” she said.
“I hope other women facing similar situations will be encouraged by this ruling. “A school is a closed world. It’s necessary to reform the system so schools can solve this type of problem,” she said.