A teacher who punished children slow in eating their meals at feeding time by taking their plates away and dumping their food on the table, forcing them to eat what remained, has been forced to say he is sorry.
The incident occurred at a small-town Shimane prefecture elementary school.
There, a 58-year-old teacher was found to have been taking the tableware of children away when they did not finish their meals on time, and then forcing them to eat what remained of their meal directly off the cloth place-mat on the table.
If the children were slow in eating their soup, the teacher would force them to drink the liquid, then take their bowl and dump the remaining solids on their mat, which they would then be forced to eat.
Starting in October, he is said to have done this more than 10 times to 7 children in his class of 25. They were told it was because “it is time to return your tableware.”
When parents got wind of the practice recently, they complained. Teacher and principal together apologised to the children, and then to a meeting of parents. No disciplinary action was taken.
The teacher responsible explained himself thus:
“The children must return their tableware at the end of lunchtime, and I wanted to have them eat everything on their plate. I regret taking such easy disciplinary action without taking into account the feelings of the children.”