A school has come under fire for insisting that teachers making schoolgirls endure groping, hugging and even late night solo visits to the teacher’s bedroom “does not constitute sexual harassment,” instead merely chiding the teacher responsible for “inappropriate instruction.”
The scandal centres on a Hamamatsu city middle school in Shizuoka prefecture, where in 2007 and 2008 a teacher in his thirties – who has not had his name made public – was accused of taking sexual advantage of a number of his female charges.
Amongst the reported incidents, he engineered time alone with his pupils in clubs and his car, hugging, grasping and holding them by various parts of their anatomy.
In one case he was lodged with students on a trip, and summoned a girl to his room in the middle of the night to “embrace” her.
Reports of at least six such incidents managed to survive the school’s reporting process, with girls complaining that they “didn’t want to go to school anymore” and “couldn’t continue attending club activities” thanks to his attentions.
The teacher denied any wrongdoing and took a “special leave of absence,” and two years later the school warned him that his teaching methods were “inappropriate and excessive” and he later voluntarily opted to leave his post.
However, school authorities are still adamant he did nothing wrong, refusing to punish or even accuse him of wrongdoing as “we judged nothing he did to constitute sexual harassment and so there is no offence to discipline him for.”
As they took no official action, none of their deliberations have been made public.
They also say the reason it took almost 5 years for them to resolve the matter was “out of consideration for his victims, who were still attending the school at that time.”
Despite denying any sexual harassment took place, school officials now freely concede that “it was out of line whichever way you look at it… why on earth did they come to that judgement?”
Whether this is merely grotesque malfeasance of the kind teachers are notorious for or some sort of cunning recruitment strategy is the subject of much debate online:
“Yet another hentai teacher?”
“This is a bit more serious than just ‘sexual harassment.’ Arrest him already!”
“Any non-teacher would have been arrested for ‘indecent acts with a minor’ after this.”
“They just sweep it under the rug with the usual excuses about protecting someone’s privacy.”
“He ’embraced’ her in his room at their lodgings… damn him!”
“Do they just mean hug or did he do her?” [In Japanese “idaku” can mean either]
“Pretty hot situation!”
“Please give some thought to the poor teachers who might stand to lose their jobs.”
“So he gets to retire voluntarily with a severance package and then teach at a cram school and do it all over?”
“A special leave of absence (paid, of course) – isn’t that the greatest?”
“This nation has just become a comfort woman for civil servants to abuse, hasn’t it?”
“If you are a lolicon, your heart is set on becoming a teacher. There is simply no other reason anyone would want to become one.”
“What is it with teachers and their efforts to suppress any and all evidence of crimes at their schools?”
“Their union is just full of these perverts, that’s why.”
“They are so obsessed with taking advantage of schoolgirls that they are too busy to do anything about bullying.”
“School boards all over the country are exactly the same.”
“School boards basically exist to cover up the crimes and incompetence of their teachers.”