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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 January 9 - 15  > Physical punishment at school is ‘permissible’: Osaka mayor
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2013 January 9 - 15 [EDUCATION]

Physical punishment at school is ‘permissible’: Osaka mayor

January 11, 2013
Osaka Mayor Hashimoto Toru said on January 10, “Honestly I believe slapping students may be permissible during sports club activities,” commenting on a suicide committed by a male student who had been physically punished at a city-owned public high school.

In December, a student at Sakuranomiya High School in Osaka City killed himself after being hit 30 to 40 times by a teacher who is his basketball club supervisor during a game on the previous day.

“At the physical education department of Sakuranomiya High School which aims to win national championships, I think there was a tacit awareness, shared also by parents, that (physical punishment) to a certain degree can be regarded as educational instruction,” said Hashimoto.

Education critic Ogi Naoki said in an Akahata interview, “Physical punishment is incompatible with education. It is used by incompetent teachers to forcibly make students obey them.” The following is an excerpt of his comments:

As a sports-oriented school, this city high school has been expected to achieve results. A higher rate of students’ enrollment in famous universities is sought by high-ranked schools, and winning games is a must for elite sports schools. This is a very distorted school education system.

The education board, principal, teachers, and the entire school are pushed to achieve their “mission to win” and allow teachers to use any instruction methods to achieve that end. The environment to accept corporal punishment is created that way.

Physical punishment has never been publicly accepted in the history of Japan’s school education. It was used to force students to follow orders when military education was brought into schools during wartime. It has nothing to do with education and should never be tolerated.
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