His motive is probably not what you think.

Have you ever felt like your teacher really had it in for you? Maybe they graded you lower, spent extra time calling you out in class, or peed on your sleeping bag during a school trip.

For students at an elementary school in Akiruno City, Toyko, a similarly strange case has come to light where their teacher has been stealing their belongings.

The suspect in this case is 38-year-old Koichi Inoue, who allegedly stole three shoes from students at the Tokyo elementary school he worked at. Arrested in late September, when questioned by the police, Inoue claimed he had “no idea” and denied the charges. However, the shoes (which, for some reason, were all right-foot shoes) were found in Inoue’s staffroom locker. Further investigation uncovered security camera footage of Inoue, and interviews with his co-workers only incriminated him further.

Inoue was originally arrested when it was discovered that he had written “die” on a student’s disaster prevention hat. He had also written “you’re gross” on another student’s painting set and was arrested for suspected vandalism.

However, it appears that Inoue wasn’t carrying out his petty crimes because he hated his students, rather he hated his co-workers. In further interviews with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police, Inoue declared that the stress that came from working with his fellow teachers pushed him into committing his weird crimes.

“I’m always the first teacher to arrive each morning. The other teachers don’t do their jobs at all,” he claimed. “[Hiding the shoes] was meant to be an added inconvenience for them.”

▼ Surely there are much better ways to relieve work stress than hiding shoes, dude.

Although the police didn’t elaborate in too much detail, the shoes apparently “can no longer be used”. We’ll leave whatever that means up to your imagination.

Inoue had been working at the school since April 2017, during which time over one hundred items have been reported by students as missing or vandalised. Police are currently investigating to see if there is a possible relation to Inoue’s case.

Japanese commenters had this to say about the teacher’s unusual behaviour:

“Hiding a kid’s belongings… how childish.”
“I wonder, did he choose to become a teacher because he never wanted to leave school?”
“Hurry up and make all schools distance learning!”
“Why on earth is this guy an elementary school teacher?”
“Kids, make sure you don’t grow up to be like this weird guy.”

“What kind of 38 year-old takes out their stress with other teachers on a bunch of children?! You shouldn’t work in education anymore.”
“Maybe the longer you work with elementary school kids, the more your way of thinking starts to work like theirs.”

This year has certainly seen its fair share of questionable behaviour by teachers in Japan (and not just by natives, either), but Inoue’s arrest will at least lead to one less inappropriate teacher in the classrooms.

Source: Asahi Shinbun via Hachima Kiko
Image: Pakutaso (1, 2)
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