Bullying Led to Japanese Student’s Suicide

The tragic suicide of a 13-year-old boy in Otsu, Japan was most likely the result of systematic bullying by the boy’s classmates, and even his teachers, reports ABC News. Though the suicide occured last October, a recent anonymous survey of students at the school has revealed shocking details of physical and psychological torment.

According to ABC News, “In that anonymous survey, students write the bullying escalated to ‘punching and kicking’ in September last year, about a month before the teen jumped to his death. The victim was pressured into shoplifting, had his legs and arms tied while bullies duck-taped his mouth. Students watched as their peers pressured the teen into eating dead bees, ‘pantsed’ him, and made him ‘practice’ committing suicide.”

Perhaps just as alarming, when the abuse was reported by students to several teachers who were in a position to do something, nothing happened. One of the boy’s final acts was to text several of his classmates saying, “I’m going to die.” He received a response of, “You should die.”

In a letter to the mayor of Otsu, the boy’s father has called on the mayor to “seek the truth,” and find new ways to combat bullying behavior in schools. As a country that prides itself on conformity, bullying has been a problem in Japan’s schools for many years. In 2006, a series of bullying-related suicides, including five deaths in four days, gained worldwide attention. As recent events have shown, it continues to be a problem here in the United States as well.

For more information on how to successfully intervene and stop bullying behavior, check out the Josephson Institute’s free bullying prevention resources, or contact us for a free consultation.

2 thoughts on “Bullying Led to Japanese Student’s Suicide”

  1. Hi There, I’ve taught for years and found that my anti-bullying program is most successful when I get the kids to build self esteem on their actions because it makes them focus on who they are and what is under their control – rather than reacting or seeking to acceptance from their peers/people around them. For years I’ve used a program Called Who Is NOBODY? and it lets every student discover their interests and use them to help others and this way the self-esteem they build is personal. I’ve used it with all different age groups and it’s super easy (set up with DVD) and it just changes the dynamics in the classroom and empowers the kids. Thank you for initiating this discussions – educators need to talk more often and share success stories. 🙂 Kelly

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