Education reform committee also says moral education in schools should be enhanced

More suspensions of bullies sought


A government panel on education proposed Tuesday that schools enforce suspensions of bullies more strictly to protect their victims.

In proposals submitted to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the 15-member panel led by Waseda University President Kaoru Kamata also called for the enhancement of moral education in schools.

Abe said the package of proposals marks the first step toward revitalizing the education system and he will instruct education minister Hakubun Shimomura to swiftly address the issue.

The proposals include working out a guideline for teachers to eliminate corporal punishment at school sports activities.

Kamata said it is questionable whether the existing guideline for suspending bullies has been used effectively, saying it should be enforced further.

The panel is urging local-level boards of education to establish clear standards for such suspensions, set principles of guidance on students who are suspended, and make efforts to gain their parents’ acceptance.

On teaching morals, the panel called for reaffirming the importance of such education and enhancing it in a sweeping manner.

The panel also cited the need to set up third-party panels to respond to reports of bullying and to establish legislation that states the principles of measures against bullying.

On banning corporal punishment, the panel urged the government and boards of education to make clear the difference between “guidance” and “physical punishment.”

It also called for efforts to encourage students’ voluntary actions without the use of physical punishment at sports activities.

Bullying and corporal punishment cases at schools have been increasingly in the spotlight.

Among them was a junior high student who killed himself in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, in October 2011 after being subjected to severe bullying.

In late 2012, a student at a high school in Osaka committed suicide after his basketball team coach allegedly subjected him to repeated physical violence.

  • This is a very important development; but a very dangerous one. One might expect Japan to fail this admirably. I shall take great interest in it. The issue is actually more important that the issue of religion in US schools, because it means government will be laying out a national ethos. It is not a secular question then. Do we all agree on that ethical system? I’m sure we don’t. How will the issue be resolved? It won’t, as extorted influence under representative democracy would surely be flawed as the process is flawed.

  • Ben

    it’s a great idea to make these ideas national guidelines. so many schools want to take a harder line with students who disrupt the learning of others, but are basically unable to do so because they will then be known as the school that suspends students, and no school wants the slightest bit of negative publicity in a country with a dwindling number of children.

  • $14141131

    I don’t agree with the suspension of bullies because by the time they get back, they would surely do the same thing they were doing. I suggest that these bullies be just separated from their classes and assigned into a special moral regeneration class where they can be lectured and drilled about the importance of respect, rights and values in schools and communities.