The July 24 Kyodo article “Ministry to establish team to battle bullying” once again highlights our failure to act in due time and respond to the small acts. We once again chose to wait for the extreme to happen before taking serious action to curb or prevent such situations. We are always reactive, instead of preventive.
Bullying has always been an issue in the public education system in Japan, with stories in the news about students being bullied and about their harming or killing themselves or others.
Now that it’s getting out of hand, if it isn’t already, the ministry wants to set up a task force to combat bullying. Just more of the same bureaucratic red tape and secrecy that envelopes every entity in Japan.
How about holding schools, teachers, and students accountable and responsible. When a child is being bullied, there are obvious markers such as change in behavior, attitude, etc. We are quick to brush things under the table, turn a blind eye and pretend things are not occurring or not as bad as it seems, Fukushima, anyone?
While we may not get every instance of bullying that occurs, when the adults are held accountable for the behavior, discipline, and moral conduct of their charges, change will occur. Learning how to get along with others is an integral part of education.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.