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information about Fukushima published in English in Japanese media info publiée en anglais dans la presse japonaise

Bullying of Fukushima student (follow-up)

November 16, 2016

Probe ordered into Fukushima boy bullying



The mayor of Yokohama City has ordered its education board to look into why it failed to respond quickly to the bullying of a student who had evacuated due to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident.

A third-party panel of the board determined that the boy was bullied after entering an elementary school in Yokohama. The panel said school staff and education authorities responded slowly to the problem.

Mayor Fumiko Hayashi told reporters on Wednesday that city officials failed to make good use of an anti-bullying law enacted after a spate of serious cases across the nation.

Hayashi also referred to a note in which the boy said he thought of suicide many times.
She said she sensed his pain from the note and was heartbroken over his experience.

Hayashi said she wonders why the school and the board failed to help him much earlier.



Evacuee from Fukushima bullied at new school




A boy who evacuated Fukushima Prefecture after the 2011 nuclear accident says he thought of killing himself many times when he was bullied at his new school.

A lawyer on Tuesday released a note that the boy wrote in July last year about what he went through at his elementary school in Yokohama, south of Tokyo.

The lawyer met reporters nearly a week after the education authorities in Yokohama recognized that the boy had been the target of bullying at the school.

They said the boy's classmates added a word meaning "germ" to his name. Some reportedly demanded money.

The boy is now in the first year of junior high school. He writes that it was always painful to be treated like a germ.
He says he thought the word meant radiation, and that's why people from Fukushima are bullied.

The boy writes that he cannot help feeling scared, as standing up to his tormentors would only make the bullying worse.

He writes that while he thought of suicide, he decided to keep living even if it's painful because so many people were killed in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

The lawyer quoted the boy's parents as saying that the family had been mentally driven into a corner. They criticized the school and the city's education board, saying they want their time back.

The board looked into the matter after the family asked for an investigation last December.

Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi said last week that the bullying was extremely regrettable, and it's a shame that the boy was bullied because of the Fukushima nuclear accident.


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