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.