The principal of an elementary school in Osaka recently resigned under pressure from the city’s board of education after using physical violence as a disciplinary measure against seven of the school’s students for enacting and concealing the event of a knife threat within the school.
This May, a sixth-grade boy broke school rules by bringing a knife onto campus and using it to threaten six of his classmates. No one was harmed, and the event was subsequently concealed from the teachers by all involved, even those students who were threatened. When the incident came to light, all seven students were called into a separate room and hit over the head once each by the principal. None were injured, but nevertheless, the board of education was not happy at all with the head teacher’s choice of disciplinary action. They emphatically wish that violence not be used to discipline students, linking such acts with suicide rates in the district.
“I only meant to teach the students a lesson,” said the former principal. “I am reflecting deeply on my actions now.”
In response to the article, Japanese bloggers openly criticized the actions taken by the student offender and the board of education, but less so the disciplinary measures taken by the principal. Comments included:
“The kid is the one with the problem!”
“Oh, Japanese board of educations! Way to teach kids that it’s okay to threaten your classmates with knives!”
“This is the deplorable state of society.”
So what do you guys think? Surely students should not be making such threats without experiencing serious consequences, but if violence is met with more violence, what message is that really sending to our kids? Is violence ever an appropriate disciplinary measure in our modern age or is it better that people like this principal are removed from positions of authority?
Source: Yomiuri Online via Jin115 (Japanese)
Top image: HDW