• Kyodo


The city of Fukuoka was ordered to pay 2.2 million yen in damages to a 12-year-old boy and his parents Friday for his physical and emotional suffering at the hands of a bullying teacher at the public elementary school he attended.

The boy, now a first-year junior high school student, and his parents had sought some 58 million yen from the city and the teacher, but the Fukuoka District Court ruled the teacher was not liable, saying, “The local government is responsible for illegal behavior by public officials in the performance of their duties.”

The 49-year-old teacher pinched the boy’s ears and made discriminatory remarks about him around May 2003, the court said. The boy’s great-grandfather was a U.S. citizen and the teacher called him “American,” and made comments such as “Your hair is red,” the court said.

Judge Sumio Nojiri said the teacher “imposed corporal punishment on the student and bullied him, and he suffered physical and mental pain.”

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