A father who went to his daughter’s school and punched an elementary school boy repeatedly in the face after he told him he “didn’t remember” bullying his daughter has been feted as a hero.
The incident began in an Ishikawa prefecture elementary school, where the father of a girl attending the school, in his fifties, became increasingly concerned about the bullying his young daughter was suffering at the school.
His daughter had been subject to bullying and harassment at the school, culminating in a protracted absence. She finally rejoined the school only when her parents attended some of her classes to ensure she remained unmolested.
According to the school, with the school’s assent he addressed members of her class one day “to explain the feelings of bullied children” to them, and questioned several about her bullying in their classroom.
One boy replied that he “didn’t remember” anything about such abuse, which infuriated the girl’s father. Shaking off the teacher’s intercession, he proceeded to punch the boy “5-6″ times in the face.
The boy was lightly injured and suffered a nosebleed. The school has retained a clinical psychologist in order to provide him with mental care. The boy is maintained to have “taken no direct part” in the girl’s abuse.
His parents have filed a complaint with police, who are investigating.
The school says that “this is a most regrettable thing to have happened, just as we were in the process of resolving matters.”
In recent years Japan has seen a significant number of schoolchildren driven to suicide by bullying, and it would seem teachers are either totally ineffective in dealing with such problems, or else prefer to turn a blind eye – when they are not molesting students themselves, at any rate.
As a result, the father’s rather direct intervention has accrued a great deal of support and sympathy amongst Japanese, many of whom view the risk of his daughter being driven to suicide as a very real one:
“What a nice story!”
“He became emotional and went too far!”
“It says the kid wasn’t directly involved though.”
“Which means he was indirectly involved, right?”
“He could have been organising it, for all that denial’s worth.”
“Having kids over 40 – no wonder her father was an idiot.”
“Of course you’d bash a cheeky little bastard who said something opaque like ‘I don’t remember’… He was mocking him.”
“Adults shouldn’t be beating up children.”
“He’s a good father.”
“Nice to see there are still pops about who really care about their children.”
“I understand how he feels. But do it whilst the kid is on his way home.”
“He is completely in the right.”
“The school just pretended nothing was happening. If he didn’t act, who would?”
“If my kid was in danger of committing suicide or becoming a hikikomori, I’d go and beat up the kid responsible too.”
“Don’t beat up people who have nothing to do with it though.”
“If he really had nothing to do with it, the teacher was pretty bad in lining him up to answer questions about it.”
“It’s obvious that in cases like this neither the school nor the bully will tell the truth.”
“He wouldn’t have said he ‘didn’t remember’ if he really had nothing to do with it.”
“There’s no way he’d admit doing it in any case. A brat like that is not going to have any problems lying about it.”
“He did a lot better than the kind of parents who tell their kids to put up with it and go to school.”
“The school sounds like a bunch of liars.”
“Right. They probably only admitted it when journalists started showing up.”
“The father may have scared off the bullies, but his daughter no longer has a leg to stand on.”
“It will make a good deterrent at least. Let this be a warning to you, brat!”
“Saying he didn’t remember, no wonder he got punched. That stuff about not being directly involved probably means he was the ringleader.”
“I’d sock him one too, if he said something like that to me.”
“He should have punched the teacher. It’s his class, he should be responsible.”
“Can’t be helped. Not like the teachers would ever do anything.”
“This is better than those scumbag parents who published a poetry anthology about their grief at their kid committing suicide due to bullying.”
“The people sympathising with this guy are just as crazy as he is. Having some parent bust into the school and beat up kids is terrifying.”
“What would you do if your kid was being bullied into suicide?”
“He’s a good father who really loves his daughter.”
“Beating up someone’s kids. He’s a scummy father. Sue him!”
“He put up with it too long. Waiting until your child becomes mentally unbalanced is leaving it too late.”
“Even if it stops, his daughter is going to be ostracised now.”
“No normal father could stand knowing his beloved daughter was being tormented.”
“Just replace the daughter with your cat and you guys will understand.”
“The kid was probably like ‘What? I don’t remember anything about any of that stuff. Not got anything better to do than hang around our school on a weekday?’”
“Think of his daughter. Now her father beat up her classmate, she probably doesn’t want to go to school at all. If she’s not being bullied they’ll just ignore her.”
“She didn’t want to go to school before as she was being bullied, so there’s no change though?”
“They need criminal sanctions against bullying. You can’t rely on schools, all they care about is protecting the principal’s career.”
“You guys were all bullied so you are getting emotional. But think of that poor kid, getting beaten by some adult!”
“You can tell from the fact that they reported him to police that the boy’s parents are scum. They should be apologising to him.”
“Police: ‘Did you punch this child?’
Parent: ‘I don’t remember.’”