Plaintiff sought damages of 90 million yen (US$863,433) from her tormentors and the school itself.

Those who suffer bullying at school can often feel that the ramifications last long after graduation. That was allegedly the case for a young woman from a state school in Fukuchiyama City, Kyoto, who filed a lawsuit against her junior high school and four of her classmates. She claimed that due to their bullying, and presumably the school’s inaction in stopping said bullying, she developed schizophrenia. As a result, she demanded the city and the classmates responsible pay her reparations to the value of roughly 90 million yen (US$863,433).

▼ Junior high school can be an especially turbulent time in a young person’s life.

The lawsuit was filed in 2016 and concerns the period between April 2012 and March 2013, when the girl was in her second year at junior high school. Her initial claim was heard by the Kyoto District Court, where the judge ruled that there was no relationship between the student’s schizophrenia and the fact she was bullied. The four classmates were ordered to pay a suggested amount of 250,000 yen (US$2,396) each, but the school’s counter-measures were deemed satisfactory and so all claims against them were dismissed.

The case then moved to the Osaka High Court where the proposed payment was reduced to a 20,000 yen (US$191.69) payment from a single classmate of the four allegedly involved.

The girl’s final appeal was made to the Supreme Court of Japan, with judge Hiroshi Koike overseeing the case. On October 15 her claim was officially dismissed, and the judge ruled to uphold the Osaka High Court decision to charge just one classmate to pay 20,000 yen to the plaintiff.

▼ The ruling has attracted its share of criticism online.

Many online were surprised by the outcome of the court case and the low final charges leveled against the girl’s bullies. Commenters when the news broke responded with sarcasm and dismay:

“Great, does this mean I can pay 20,000 yen to bully whoever I like?”
“They need to install cameras in the schools to stop this from happening.”
“Bullying isn’t something you can settle with just a 20,000 yen payment. Just being bullied can cause you to become seriously ill. I was burned with a soldering iron and the scars haven’t healed after twenty years. There was this girl, too, who had visual and hearing impediments, and they cut her gym clothes into shreds.”

Others expressed doubt about the severity of the girl’s bullying, while some commenters asserted that regardless of her alleged mental problems they didn’t approve of her pressing charges against the city, especially for so much money. The details of the bullying were not made public, so speculation and debate about this ruling are certain to continue far into the future.

Source: Yahoo!Japan News/Kyodo via My Game News Flash
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Pakutaso (1, 2)

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