But critics say that’s not a good enough punishment.

The Kumamoto City Board of Education announced on the 27th that a junior high school music teacher in Kumamoto City in southwestern Japan was given a one month suspension for enacting corporal punishment against an impudent male student.

According to the Board, on February 3 the 57-year-old teacher apparently became enraged when a second year student didn’t write down what was on the blackboard after repeated warnings. After finally getting the student to copy the contents into his notebook, the teacher observed the student laughing with his friend, and judged that he was being purposefully ignored. Unable to suppress his anger, he grabbed the student by his sleeve and then threw him into a nearby preparation room, where the student fell face forward.

After pulling the student up by the back of his shirt and forcing him to sit on his knees, the teacher then proceeded to slap the top of his head and kick at his thigh repeatedly over the span of 35 minutes. Following that, the teacher grabbed at the student’s hair and shouted threats and admonishments at him as he kicked a nearby shelf and threw plastic bottles on the floor in his anger.

The student was unharmed, but reportedly was too afraid to return to school for the next week. The teacher was immediately put on house arrest, and after some deliberation, the Board decided to suspend him for a month, but critics say that is not enough.

According to news sources, the teacher has already previously been in trouble with the school two other times for punishing students with violence. The same teacher was also given a three-month suspension in 2016 for mishandling school club funds. Since this incident makes a fourth strike for serious misconduct, many critics said that such a teacher most certainly ought to have been dismissed:

“30 minutes?! That must have hurt!”
“All they could do was suspend him?”
“Why don’t they dismiss him? Trash.”
“If he has such a record and has done something so terrible this time around why didn’t they fire him?”
“A suspension? This counts as bodily harm and he should be arrested.”
“Tell us his name!”
“The fact that he can still continue to be a teacher after doing such a thing just shows that the public school system is no different from organized crime.”
“School teachers are being protected by something.”

The teacher, along with the principle and the student’s homeroom teacher, did visit the student’s home that day to apologize, and allegedly he does feel regret for his actions, but for many that is a far cry away from the type of penance he ought to be doing. While some may argue that there’s a certain tipping point where students really need to be shown who’s boss, corporal punishment should never be used as a method of discipline for schoolchildren, so we can only hope that, if this teacher is truly allowed to continue on in his profession, that he is able to keep his anger in check, and nothing like this ever happens again.

Source: Mainichi Shimbun via My Game News Flash, Kumamoto City, Kumamotonichi Nisshimbun
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