Yet another schoolboy has succumbed to Japan’s schools and killed himself, with the school’s principal provoking widespread disgust by shamelessly asking his parents “to call it an accident” only the day after his death.
This incident occurred at the start of the month at a Hyogo prefecture high school, where a 17-year-old boy hanged himself. He did not leave a note or any indication as to why.
Investigations, including the obligatory questionnaires circulated amongst students, soon discovered what teachers had supposedly not – he was the victim of severe bullying, with students saying he had been forced to eat insects and and pelted with classroom objects, being known by classmates as “bugs” and “germs.”
The principal’s response was to try to cover the incident up, phoning the bereaved parents the day after their son killed himself to ask them:
“To avoid having to explain about two or three suicides coming out in our school’s annual assembly, can’t we make this suicide into an unforeseen accident?”
The parents instead later opted to reveal details of his request to the inquiring media.
The school has acknowledged bullying occurred and apologised to the parents, but only comments that it was “unfortunate that this did not reach the sight of teachers” and says it “cannot say whether there was or was not any connection between the bullying and his suicide.”
The principal also says “as the person concerned is dead we cannot say there is no connection between the incidents.”
In related news, police investigating the now infamous Shiga bullying suicide have indicated they intend to drop intimidation charges against the bullies for making their victim “practice committing suicide,” saying there was insufficient evidence – despite 16 students reporting the abuse.
Police say they “cannot confirm” whether the dead boy really was made to throw himself out of windows as the reports suggest, and so they will drop the charges. They are still pursuing a variety of other charges against the bullies.