National

CENTER TO DECIDE 11-YEAR-OLD'S FATE

Classroom slasher faces three options

Kyodo

The Niigata Prefecture child consultation center said Wednesday it will take a few weeks to decide how to handle an 11-year-old boy who slashed a schoolmate with a kitchen knife the previous day, inflicting cuts on his right arm and left hand.

Three options are being considered. These include reprimanding him and having a child welfare office monitor him, placing him in a correctional institution or sending him to a family court, according to Akira Suzuki, a manager at the center.

People under age 14 cannot be legally held criminally liable, and the boy cannot be named because he is a minor.

Suzuki said the center, which now has custody of the boy, will reach a conclusion after interviewing his parents and school officials.

On Tuesday, the boy slashed a 12-year-old schoolmate in a classroom at an elementary school in Sanjo, Niigata Prefecture, because the schoolmate had spoken ill of him and had been insulting, according to police.

The boy was in the victim’s classroom when the lunchtime incident took place. Both boys are in the sixth year, but are in separate classes.

The boy reportedly told police he had done a bad thing.

The media are banned under the Juvenile Law from reporting the names or other information that could lead to the identification of juvenile criminal suspects.

Class in class control

OTSU, Shiga Pref. (Kyodo) Shiga University will offer four new courses next spring designed to train would-be teachers to resolve pervasive school-related problems, including classroom chaos and truancy.

The state-run university’s move comes in the wake of a surge in serious incidents at schools.

In June, a sixth-grader murdered her classmate in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, while in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward in the same month, a junior high school student pushed a 5-year-old boy off the fourth floor of an apartment building.

The boy fell into bushes and survived.

“We hope to train teachers to enable them to create classrooms that can flexibly respond to changing environments surrounding children and society,” said Munetsugu Kawashima, head of the school’s faculty of education.

A course titled Gakko Rinsho (School Clinics) will have a trainee visit schools that have reported bullying and other problems, explore solutions and compile a report based on the observations of children and interviews with teachers.

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