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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 January 16 - 22  > Osakans criticize mayor’s call to cancel high school entrance exam
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2013 January 16 - 22 [EDUCATION]

Osakans criticize mayor’s call to cancel high school entrance exam

January 21 and 22, 2013
Osaka residents are protesting against Mayor Hashimoto Toru’s call for the cancellation of an entrance examination of a city high school where a student killed himself last month after being physically punished by his teacher.

The student at Sakuranomiya High School in Osaka City committed suicide after being struck by his basketball club supervisor on the previous day.

Mayor Hashimoto on January 15 called on the Osaka Municipal Board of Education to cancel the entrance exam, scheduled for February, for two physical education courses (enrolling 120 students) at the high school in order to “interrupt the continuity” of physical punishment.

At a press conference two days later, while admitting that the education board has the authority to make a decision on educational matters, the mayor indicated that he has the right to freeze the city budget allocation for the education board.

Members of the Osaka Bar Association, which Hashimoto belongs to as a lawyer, criticized the mayor by pointing out that a municipal head does not have the authority to suspend a budget allocation that has already been passed through the City Assembly.

A group of local parents, in a statement it submitted to the city government, expressed that Hashimoto’s proposal is “unilateral and a repressive method that is the same as physical punishment, which is far from an effort to create a genuine consensus to solve the issue.” It called on the administration to create an opportunity for students, teachers, and parents to examine and discuss on the issue.

A statement jointly published by the heads of three teachers’ unions demands that necessary measures be taken to prevent physical punishment at schools based on a thorough investigation onto the latest case.

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At its emergency meeting on January 21, the Osaka Municipal Board of Education decided to cancel the entrance examination for the two physical education courses at Sakuranomiya High School as proposed by Hashimoto.

Parents, workers, and lawyers carried out rallies and protests throughout the day in front of the city office, calling for the exams to be conducted.

Related past article:
>Physical punishment at school is ‘permissible’: Osaka mayor (January 11, 2013)

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