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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 March 12 - 18  > High Court dismisses elementary school teachers’ appeal over hoisting Hinomaru flag
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2008 March 12 - 18 [CIVIL RIGHTS]

High Court dismisses elementary school teachers’ appeal over hoisting Hinomaru flag

March 12, 2008
The Tokyo High Court on March 11 dismissed an elementary school teachers’ appeal in a lawsuit they filed against the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education over the “Hinomaru” flag hoisting at the graduation ceremony.

In March, 2000, the principal of Kunitachi City Dai-ni Elementary School in western Tokyo hoisted the “Hinomaru” flag on the roof of the school building in defiance of opposition expressed by teachers.

Five teachers of the school requested the principal to discuss with them the issue of hoisting the “Hinomaru” flag, but they were punished by the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education for doing that.

The teachers filed a lawsuit with the Tokyo District Court demanding that the punishment be rescinded, but they lost the case and appealed.

The Tokyo High Court judge ruled that the teachers’ objection to their school principal’s decision to hoist the “Hinomaru” was an expression of their rejection of the decision of the principal as supervisor and that the act amounted to compromising public trust in a municipal employee.

Later in the day, plaintiffs and their supporters held a rally in protest against the court ruling. One of the plaintiffs said indignantly, “I’m indignant. This decision declares that those who don’t follow school principals should be dismissed.”

A representative of the plaintiffs’ lawyers group angrily said, “This decision is unjust on the grounds that any one opposing any school principal’s decision must be disciplined. I feel outrage.”
- Akahata, March 12, 2008
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