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HOME  > Past issues  > 2012 August 15 - 21  > 2012 national education assembly focuses on bullying problem
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2012 August 15 - 21 [EDUCATION]

2012 national education assembly focuses on bullying problem

August 19-21, 2012
The 2012 national education assembly ended on August 19, issuing a statement seeking to ensure proper care of children in schools, communities, and society.

About 7,000 people participated in the 3-day assembly which was organized by 26 unions and citizens’ groups, including the All-Japan Federation of Teachers and Staff Union (Zenkyo).

The statement referred to an incident in which a junior high school student in Shiga’s Otsu City committed suicide in October last year after being bullied at his school. It defined bullying in schools as an act of violence and violation of human rights, and called for stronger teachers’ efforts to become more sensitive to protecting children’s lives and human rights and stressed the need to strengthen cooperation between parents and teachers. It also pointed out that the government’s neo-liberal education policy based on “competition and control” and “self-responsibility” is putting great pressure on parents and teachers as well as children. It stated that the settlement of bullying problems will be impossible without breaking away from the policy.

On the evening of August 18, the second day of the assembly, a symposium on school bullying problems took place with 400 citizens in attendance.

In the panel discussion, a junior high school teacher from Hyogo’s Nishinomiya City stated that it is important to improve the school environment so that teachers can deal with problems quickly and pay closer attention to their students. He went on to talk about his working experience at a school facing “breakdown”.

A mother raising 3 children in Higashiosaka City said that her eldest son was bullied when he was in junior high school. She said, “I would like to do what I can in cooperation with teaching staff. I feel that it is essential for everyone to make every possible effort to address the problem.”

A female elementary school teacher in Shimane Prefecture, who attended the assembly for the first time, said, “This is the 4th year since I became a teacher. Though we are always busy due to the harsh working conditions, I am very encouraged by the practical examples given here of addressing school bullying from all over the country.”
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