Boy’s ’94 suicide ruled due to abuse


A board of education in Hyogo Prefecture has admitted that an 11-year-old boy committed suicide 19 years ago because a teacher had inflicted corporal punishment on him, reversing its earlier judgment that the death was an “accident,” his father said Thursday.

The board in the city of Tatsuno said the judgment was made after it reviewed the case in light of recent similar tragedies attributable to physical punishment.

The board apologized to the boy’s parents Tuesday, according to the 54-year-old father, Chiharu Utsumi.

The board had earlier denied corporal punishment was behind the death of Taira Utsumi, who hanged himself on a mountain near his home after a teacher hit him in the head in class in September 1994. The boy was in the sixth grade at Issai elementary school.