• Chikushino, Fukuoka

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Regarding the March 23 editorial “ Stay out of the classroom“: I remember hearing about this incident six years ago, and although it struck me at the time as odd, it wasn’t until an example of the kind of sex-education class involved was broadcast on television recently that I realized how ridiculous the Tokyo assembly members in question really were. Not only were the classes conducted completely essential for special children, they would be just as good for children in ordinary schools.

We often hear how regular school education is little more than training for the next exam. Compared with the example I saw, the cram-for-exam classes are the ones that should be condemned for perpetuating an unhealthy educational atmosphere in Japan, a society whose suicide rate, especially among younger people, is inexplicably excessive.

In stark contrast, the sex-education classes for special children were absolutely vital both in terms of the content and the humanitarian way of teaching — the very elements so sorely lacking in regular school education! How could those assembly members ever have been allowed to wield such absurd power? It reminded me of why, even up until recently, victims of leprosy in Japan were incarcerated, sterilized and thoroughly abused by a society rife with ignorance in high places.

Shame on those assembly members, whose approach is more like what one might expect in an impoverished communist country, where leaders bloated with power make totally arbitrary decisions based purely on petty prejudices.

david wood

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