• Kyodo

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The principals of two elementary schools attended by an 11-year-old boy who fatally stabbed his mother over the weekend stressed the preciousness of human life to their pupils at separate Monday morning gatherings.

Police earlier quoted the boy as saying his mother had scolded him after he tried to kill himself with a kitchen knife. He then fatally stabbed her with the knife. The boy told police he had recently changed schools and missed his old friends.

The principal of the boy’s new school in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, told reporters he had told his pupils that life is not like a computer game where people seem to die and come back to life, and once a human life is taken away it can never be brought back again.

He told the children he would do his best to protect them all and asked them to treasure life, he said.

Later, the principal spoke only to the boy’s sixth-grade classmates. “Please welcome the boy warmly when he comes back to school, even though he has only been here one week.” Some pupils sobbed, the principal said.

At the boy’s former school in the same city, the principal told pupils, “If you have any problems, please talk to the people around you.”

The two school meetings were both held behind closed doors in consideration of the children’s feelings.

During the meeting, local education officials noted that the boy had previously shown no signs of abnormal behavior since changing schools.

Masayoshi Takeda, superintendent of education of Hyogo Prefecture, said during a prefectural education committee meeting, “I feel regret that such a sad incident occurred.”

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