nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Fukushima-linked bullying survey reveals hundreds more cases

 

Survey on Fukushima-linked bullying reveals hundreds more cases

TOKYO (Kyodo) — A government survey prompted by the bullying of a boy from Fukushima Prefecture has unveiled hundreds more cases in which evacuees from areas hit by the nuclear crisis were targeted, data released Tuesday showed.

The first nationwide survey on bullying of children who evacuated Fukushima Prefecture due to meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in 2011 showed there were 129 cases in fiscal 2016 ended this March and 199 more cases in previous years.

Among the total, 13 had apparent links to the nuclear disaster or the major earthquake and tsunami that triggered it.

Education minister Hirokazu Matsuno indicated there could be other cases that may have gone undetected, saying, “It is difficult to conduct a survey that covers them all.”

“We will consider our response in light of the possibility that (some) bullying has not surfaced,” said Matsuno.

The latest survey targeting roughly 12,000 evacuees showed some of those who were bullied in relation to the nuclear crisis were told to go back to Fukushima or stay away, as they would contaminate others with radiation.

The incidents included the highlighted case in which classmates of a boy who relocated to Yokohama in Kanagawa Prefecture demanded he give them cash, and called him a “germ.”

After the case in Yokohama surfaced in November, a slew of similar incidents were brought to light in other parts of the country, prompting the government to request schools that accept evacuees check whether they have been bullied or not through interviews and other means.

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170411/p2g/00m/0dm/063000c

 

Survey: 204 bullying cases of Fukushima evacuees

A survey by Japan’s education ministry has found more than 200 cases of bullying involving children who fled Fukushima Prefecture after the nuclear disaster in March 2011. But the survey attributes fewer than 10 percent of these cases to the accident, prompting the education minister to admit the need for further studies.

The ministry surveyed more than 11,800 school-age evacuees through regional education boards in March.

The results show 204 cases of bullying occurred since April 2011. One pupil was told to go back to Fukushima soon after entering elementary school. Classmates also told a junior high school student to stay away because radiation is contagious. But the ministry’s survey linked only 13 of the bullying cases to the nuclear accident.

In comparison, a recent NHK survey of more than 740 families showed that at least 54 children were bullied because they were “nuclear accident evacuees.”

Education Minister Hirokazu Matsuno said on Tuesday that the ministry will consider additional studies to bring hidden cases to light. He said that if children were bullied because they were nuclear evacuees, they might have found it difficult to respond to the survey.

Professor Naoki Ogi of Hosei University said the failure of teachers to take the effect of the nuclear accident sufficiently into account has resulted in an extremely superficial appraisal of the problem.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20170411_17/

Advertisements

April 11, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , | Leave a comment

Japan Political Pulse: The truth about Fukushima nuclear disaster compensation

MW-EH399_japane_20160308124458_ZH.jpg

Of the unknown number of children who have been bullied for being from Fukushima Prefecture, where a nuclear disaster is still ongoing at a power station six years since its outbreak, one boy who evacuated to Yokohama was bullied and extorted by his classmates of 1.5 million yen in total.

Now in his first year of junior high school, the boy wrote when he was in sixth grade, “My classmates said, ‘You get compensation, right?’ That annoyed me, but I was frustrated with myself for not standing up against them.”

Ironically, news reports say that because the family voluntarily evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture, they are not eligible for the high levels of compensation from the operator of the stricken nuclear plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), that some victims are entitled to receive.

Those who evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture due to the nuclear crisis can be largely categorized into two groups. The first are those who were forced to leave their homes under evacuation orders from the central government, because they lived in areas where annual cumulative radiation levels exceeded 20 millisieverts, or otherwise faced extenuating circumstances as determined by the state. Such people receive a certain lump sum from TEPCO as compensation.

The second group comprises people who lived in areas with radiation levels that did not prompt government evacuation orders, but who evacuated voluntarily out of concern for the health of themselves and their children. As a general rule, these people are not eligible for compensation from TEPCO.

In the case of forced evacuations, TEPCO conducts individual interviews with evacuees to assess the value of their property and homes. But this is strictly to compensate for the assets that people have lost.

What has often attracted attention but remains commonly misunderstood, is the monthly 100,000 yen per person that evacuees are said to be receiving as compensation for emotional suffering. Those who evacuated without orders to do so from the government are not eligible for this, either.

Meanwhile, the provision of compensation for emotional suffering to state-ordered evacuees whose homes are in areas where evacuation orders are set to be lifted will be stopped in March 2018. Whether or not such evacuees will return to their homes in Fukushima Prefecture once the no-go orders are lifted, they face the harsh reality that they will be cut off from government assistance. The government is rushing to rebuild infrastructure, and appeal to the world that they are lifting evacuation orders. But whether to return or to relocate is a difficult decision, especially for families with children.

People who evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture have not only been exposed to radiation, but to prejudice and misunderstanding regarding compensation that they may or may not have received.

The false rumor that compensation recipients are enjoying the high life from compensation payments has spread. We can’t deny that some probably indulged in the momentary influx of money and bought property or a fancy car. But because of that, the internet has been teeming with rumors that compensation recipients are tax thieves or calls for them to go back where they came from. And there’s no doubt that such a backdrop of online defamation and scandalmongering emboldened the children who bullied the boy in Yokohama.

The truth is, the family of the boy in Yokohama had evacuated Fukushima Prefecture voluntarily. They received a little over 1 million yen from TEPCO, but the parents said in an interview with an NHK new program, Close Up Gendai, that the money was put toward rebuilding their lives. Voluntary evacuees are exempt from paying rent due to the Disaster Relief Act, but many must restart new lives amid unstable finances.

The abovementioned boy moved to Yokohama with his family when he was in second grade. Shortly thereafter, classmates called him by his name, with the word for “germs” added on to the end. He soon found himself the victim of physical abuse such as hitting and kicking, and once he reached fifth grade, classmates demanded he give them money.

“I was so scared I didn’t know what to do,” the boy wrote. He stole from his parents and gave away a total of 1.5 million yen.

His parents, and other parents of children at the school who realized that something was going on, alerted the school. The school conducted an investigation, but took the bullies’ claims that the boy had given them money willingly at face value, and did nothing to remedy the situation for two years.

I, too, only learned the truth about the case just recently, but I believe the school’s misguided judgment was likely based on ignorance and prejudice toward compensation given to Fukushima Prefecture evacuees.

The boy’s mother had been traveling back and forth between Yokohama and Fukushima. He knew how much his parents were struggling, so he remained silent about the bullying.

What moved the case into a new direction were notes the victim had written in the summer of sixth grade. A message calling on bullying victims not to kill themselves also written by the now first-year junior high school student who attends an alternative school, was also released to the public.

Compensation is given to some victims of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. But there is still too little compassion toward and understanding of the various misunderstandings, discrimination and divisions that disaster victims face.

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170326/p2a/00m/0na/003000c

March 26, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Radiation brings fear, and kids let it all out

p18-bij-a-20170326-e1490429064781-870x581

Kids say the cruellest things: A girl bullied at school with the taunt ‘You’ve got the radiation!’ (right) sits at her home in Chiba Prefecture, where she moved after fleeing Fukushima Prefecture in the wake of the March 2011 nuclear disaster

Radiation is a fearful thing. Colorless, odorless, undetectable except by special instruments, it’s one of those evils you can dismiss from your mind altogether, until the special instruments start registering. Then suddenly it’s everywhere, or seems to be — a ubiquitous and ineradicable contaminant.

Children, as we all know, say and do the damnedest things. They mean no harm, they just know not what they do, sometimes. Their innocence is terrifying. Sometimes innocence looks anything but innocent. But all societies recognize it.

Children are not legally responsible for their actions. Parents and teachers may punish them in order to teach them responsibility. But it’s a long process. Until it’s complete, the evil they do, when they do evil, gets filed under “mischief,” in recognition of the spirit in which it was — probably — committed.

When Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant cracked under the strain of a tsunami six years ago and irradiated large swaths of Fukushima Prefecture, refugees streamed out of the stricken area, settling where they could. Forty thousand of them remain out-of-prefecture, 5,100 in Tokyo. Most of them will never go home again. Will they ever be at home where they are?

Josei Seven magazine raises the issue of “nuclear bullying.” Children too young, one might think, to even know the word “radiation” picked it up under the circumstances, and flung it with what seems like gleeful malice at disoriented new classmates who had enough to cope with already. Six years on, says Josei Seven, they’re still flinging it.

It started immediately,” says one refugee, recalling her son’s transfer to a Tokyo elementary school in the immediate aftermath of the disaster. “‘Fukushima kids are weird,’ they’d shout at him. Kids would crawl under his desk and jab his feet with pencils. In the mornings he began saying he wasn’t feeling well. At the time, frankly, I was too traumatized myself to take much notice.”

Lawyer Yukio Yamakawa, director-general of the Tokyo Disaster Support Network, takes up the story with an account of other children he’s spoken to. What starts with name-calling (“Hey, Radioactive!” “Hey, Bacteria!”) easily escalates into what’s hard not to call torture. One kid is forced to drink a bottle of ink. Another has his shoes tossed into the toilet. A third is met in the corridor by classmates poised as if brandishing guns: “Radiation! Bang! Bang!” A fourth suffers extortion of what adds up over time to ¥1.5 million: “You can afford it, your family gets (disaster victim) compensation payments!”

Yamakawa reports this taunt making the rounds: “Fukushima kids won’t live past junior high school anyway, so you may as well die now.”

Tanaka-san,” as we’ll call the mother cited above, began to fear her son might commit suicide. A poem he wrote contained the line, “Oh, to be able to go to heaven.” Fully focused now, she transferred the boy to another school. The peace that followed was short-lived. Name-calling, exclusion — it started all over again. The homeroom teacher was well-intentioned and put a stop to it — what she could see of it. What went on behind her back was beyond her control. A lot did, its viciousness increasing.

I’d been bullied myself as a child,” Tanaka says, incidentally reminding us that the problem is neither new nor necessarily nuclear-related. “I understood what he was going through.”

She transferred him again. That seems to have ended the ugliest persecution, but, once a victim, you don’t simply get over it. The boy as a small child had dreamed of being a botanist when he grew up. Now he simply says, “I have no dreams.” Fukushima No. 1 destroyed much that is quantifiable — lives, property, livelihoods — and much that isn’t.

What to make of little kids who inflict this torment on other little kids? Can innocence itself be evil? Or fictitious? One hypothesis Josei Seven raises is that children merely absorb what they hear from their parents. Lacking critical faculties and adult inhibitions, they act where grown-ups merely talk.

The energy and imagination they put into it make it hard not to suspect they enjoy it. Enjoyment of other people’s sufferings is a well-attested human trait, exploited for mass entertainment at least as far back as the Roman circuses. Nothing has happened since to root it out of us, and if radiation stimulates it today, in that respect at least it breaks no new ground.

Naked fear is a factor too. Radiation, unseen, unheard, is the most fearful of stalkers. Might school kids seriously believe their Fukushima classmates are contagious? If so, the rational response would be to stay away from them, but fear and hatred merge, short-circuiting rationality and generating “Radiation, bang, bang!”

Radiation today, tuberculosis a century ago, different causes producing similar effects. Novelist Ayako Miura (1922-1999), herself a sufferer, made what might be called “tuberculosis bullying” a sub-theme of her novel “Shiokari Toge” (Shiokari Pass), set in late-19th-century Hokkaido: “It was an age when sufferers of tuberculosis were so hated and feared that they were even forced to leave the neighborhood.” A character who innocently brings up the subject arouses horror in his listener: “Mr. Nagano, even if you only mention the name of that dreadful disease it makes your lungs rot!”

Radiation, bang, bang!” Last July a 26-year-old man slipped into a facility for disabled patients in Kanagawa Prefecture and slaughtered 19 of them, his apparent intention being to free the world from the scourge of disability. Disability, bang, bang. In February Satoshi Uematsu was declared fit to stand trial. A psychiatric evaluation found in him symptoms of a personality disorder but not of incapacity to distinguish right from wrong.

The disorder in question, writes psychiatrist Rika Kayama in the weekly Spa!, amounts to an extreme form of self-love. “Of course,” she writes, “we all love ourselves; we all at one time or another fantasize about being king or queen of the world …” We’d all, in short, be insane, more or less, if we let our fantasies rule our actions. Most of us know when to stop.

Uematsu’s self-love, Kayama hypothesizes, took the form of a conviction of having a mission, a destiny to fulfill. Maybe we all have that too, to some degree. Adults usually stifle it. Children often don’t.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/03/25/national/media-national/radiation-brings-fear-kids-let/?utm_source=Daily+News+Updates&utm_campaign=10c9bd6edc-Sunday_email_updates26_03_2017&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c5a6080d40-10c9bd6edc-332835557#.WNbGPRjMx2Y

March 26, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Japanese school children who survived Fukushima meltdown are being subjected to ‘nuclear bullying

Discrimination suffered by evacuee pupils likened to that faced by those who lived through atom bomb blasts of Second World War

fukushima-children-01.jpg

School children wearing padded hoods to protect them from falling debris take part in an earthquake simulation exercise in an annual evacuation drill at an elementary school in Tokyo

 

Radiation! Bang bang!”

Gesturing as if with guns, two boys in Tokyo repeatedly taunted a girl whose family fled to Japan’s capital to escape radioactivity unleashed by the Fukushima nuclear crisis of 2011.

Tormented by headaches and weight loss, the girl began to skip classes, and switched schools to escape the bullies, her mother told Reuters. But the very radiation that uprooted the family brought more pain in her new home.

For her to be called ‘radioactive’ was heartbreaking,” said the mother, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Six years after an earthquake and tsunami sparked the Fukushima meltdown, several cases of “nuclear bullying”, as the Japanese media calls them, have prompted discrimination similar to that suffered by survivors of the World War Two atom bombs.

Japan has long grappled with bullying, but discrimination against Fukushima evacuees is a serious problem, with a government panel last month urging greater efforts to safeguard such children.

It called for better mental care in schools and asked teachers to improve their understanding of the disaster’s likely psychological and physical effects, besides watching for signs of bullying, so that it can be stopped.

Discrimination over the March 11 2011 nuclear calamity, the worst since Chernobyl in 1986, appears widespread. Nearly two-thirds of Fukushima evacuees faced prejudice or knew of some who did, a recent poll by the Asahi newspaper showed.

One boy suffered years of bullying after fleeing from Fukushima aged around 8, a regional educational board found in an investigation prompted by the family’s lawyers.

Students in his new home in Japan’s second largest city of Yokohama hit and kicked the boy, calling him a “germ.” They also demanded a share of the evacuee compensation they believed he was receiving.

The boy, who is now 14 and wants to remain anonymous, paid them 1.5 million yen (£10,700) to avoid physical abuse, the family’s lawyer said.

I thought of dying many times,” he wrote at the time. “They treated me like a germ because of the radiation.”

The board had initially refused to investigate, heeding only the written request of the lawyers, said one of them, Kei Hida.

Bullying, known as “ijime,” is one aspect of the immense pressure facing Japanese children to conform, with the most recent data showing a record 224,540 cases in 2015.

The new guidelines for disaster-stricken children supplement laws adopted four years ago requiring better measures in schools to detect, and prevent, bullying.

The scale of abuse is impossible to gauge, as child evacuees rarely protest.

But more than half face some form of it, said Yuya Kamoshita, leader of an evacuees’ rights group. “Evacuees tend to stick out, and are easily categorised as ‘different’, which makes them prone to bullying,” he said.

fukushima-children-02.jpg

Pupils take shelter under desks as part of quake drills ahead of the six-year anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster

Schools and education boards’ efforts to tackle the problem have fallen short, he and other lawyers said.

The cases are reminiscent of victims of the 1945 bombings of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, whose radiation exposure led to discrimination in marriage and at work over mistaken fears of infection, or birth defects in their children.

The bullying of Fukushima evacuees springs from similar prejudice, say victims, raising fears of the treatment they will encounter as adults.

Children who were in Fukushima may be unable to get married when they grow up, or their husbands may wonder whether they can have babies,” said the girl’s mother, who is from Iwaki, a city 50 km (31 miles) south of the nuclear plant.

I think this anxiety will stay with her.”

Bullying has a corrosive effect, said Masaharu Tsubokura, a Fukushima doctor who has treated disaster survivors and worked to spread understanding of radiation.

Some children can resist bullying, they can talk back,” he said. “But others cannot, they just hide themselves away. They lose their confidence and dignity.” 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/japan-fukushima-meltdown-school-children-nuclear-bullying-second-world-war-hiroshima-nagasaki-a7622646.html

March 15, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

Bullying cases targeting young Fukushima evacuees spread to Tokyo

inj,op.jpg

 

Fresh cases of bullying targeting children who evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture following the 2011 nuclear disaster have emerged in Tokyo.

According to Tokyo Saigai Shien Netto (Tossnet), a group of lawyers supporting Fukushima evacuees, three schoolchildren who moved to Tokyo in the wake of the triple core meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant were subjected to bullying at an elementary school in Chiyoda Ward between 2011 and 2015.

According to the group, one elementary school student and two others who are now in junior high school were called names repeatedly, with classmates shunning them by saying they could spread radiation. One of the children recalled being called kin (germ).

The group on Monday reported the incidents as cases of bullying to the board of education in Chiyoda Ward. The board said it had not been aware of the incidents and will look into the matter.

Chiyoda Ward is also investigating a separate case in which another student from Fukushima at a junior high school was allegedly forced to buy snacks for three other students.

The revelation comes in the wake of a bullying case in Yokohama, where a 13-year-old boy had been forced to pay ¥1.5 million to classmates at an elementary school he transferred to following the disaster.

After initially denying the claim, on Feb. 13 the Yokohama Board of Education acknowledged the payments made by the boy to classmates in the school were the result of bullying.

The boy entered the elementary school in Yokohama as a second-grader in August 2011, but after being called kin he began missing school in the third grade, according to a report released by the board.

The boy’s parents told the school in May 2014 that their son was a victim of bullying and told the police in July that he was involved in money trouble with his classmates.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/03/02/national/social-issues/bullying-cases-targeting-young-fukushima-evacuees-spread-tokyo/#.WLgoa3_ia-d

March 2, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

University punishes teacher over comment to Fukushima student about glowing in dark

KOBE (Kyodo) — A part-time teacher at Kwansei Gakuin University made a comment ridiculing a student from nuclear disaster-hit Fukushima Prefecture in 2014, saying that she might glow in the dark because of her supposed exposure to radiation, the western Japan university said Tuesday.

The remark was made by an English-language teacher, identified as a foreign national in his 40s, according to the university in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture. He later explained that it was supposed to be a joke.

The university said the teacher received a three-month pay cut dated last Friday as the university regards his comment as discriminatory and “inconsiderate to people affected by” the March 11, 2011, quake and tsunami disaster, which led to a crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Although the pay cut will be applied from March as a formality, the university will not renew the teacher’s contract when it expires at the end of March in line with the teacher’s request.

During his English class sometime around October or November 2014, the teacher asked the student, who had entered the university in April that year, where she was from. After her answer, the teacher turned off the lights and said he thought she would glow.

The student, who is in her 20s, found it “difficult” to attend classes after the incident, the university said.

After she learned the university had opened a harassment counseling center in April last year, the student sought advice about the incident.

“We would like to apologize to the student and people affected by the disaster,” Shoichi Ito, vice president of the university, said in a statement, adding the school will make sure that such incidents will not occur again.

Disaster reconstruction minister Masahiro Imamura told reporters the same day the incident was “very regrettable” and “really intolerable.”

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170221/p2g/00m/0dm/069000c

February 23, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , | Leave a comment

Another Fukushima evacuee bullied at school: Niigata Pref. education board

NIIGATA — A female junior high school student who evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture to northern Niigata Prefecture in the wake of the 2011 nuclear meltdown has stopped attending classes since mid-December last year due to bullying at school, the Mainichi Shimbun has learned.

According to the Niigata Prefectural Board of Education and other sources, the bullying started at around the end of the first term in the 2016 school year. Several students at the school called her by her name attaching the word “germs” and made her play tag while treating her like a germ.

The student talked to her parents about the matter in mid-December and after being informed from the parents, the school learned about the bullying. The school then imposed guidance on the students who were involved in the case. The bullies and their parents apologized to the parents of the student. The student was also bullied at the elementary school she attended after evacuating from Fukushima Prefecture.

While some of the bullies knew that the student was an evacuee from Fukushima Prefecture, they are reportedly saying that the fact they attached the word “germs” to the student’s name and her being an evacuee are not related.

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170121/p2a/00m/0na/004000c

January 21, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , | Leave a comment

Fukushima evacuee poll finds kids in eight Yokohama-area households had experienced bullying

jjlkmlum

YOKOHAMA – Eight households that evacuated from Fukushima following the 2011 nuclear disaster said their children have experienced bullying at their new schools, according to a survey of 61 families suing the government and the nuclear plant operator.

Of the 61 households, 30 have children in elementary or junior high school, and eight said their children had been verbally abused or even physically assaulted at schools in and around Yokohama, according to sources involved with the lawsuit.

One of the sources quoted a plaintiff as saying that person was “unaware of a causal relationship between evacuation and bullying.” But the source also noted there may also be more bullying because some children don’t want to talk about being bullied.

In reality, it seems there are more cases,” the sources said in a statement.

Lawyers conducted the survey after it was revealed last month that a 13-year-old in Yokohama was bullied by classmates after evacuating from Fukushima, and called “germ” and extorted for money while at elementary school.

That bullying case drew public attention, prompting the Yokohama Board of Education to investigate.

Among the children of the eight households citing bullying in the survey, a male student was told such things as “Keep away from us!” and “Fukushima people are idiots,” while attending a junior high school in Kawasaki, the sources said.

The survey did not count as bullying cases in which parents said their children did not get accustomed to their new schools or could not make friends, the sources said.

In the lawsuit filed with the Yokohama District Court, 174 plaintiffs from 61 households are demanding ¥4.07 billion ($34.4 million) from the government and the Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., the operator of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant where three reactors melted down after a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/12/16/national/social-issues/fukushima-evacuee-poll-finds-kids-eight-yokohama-area-households-experienced-bullying/#.WFQRJFzia-c

December 16, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , | Leave a comment

Another Fukushima evacuee bullied at school: support group

jjlkmlùm.jpg

KAWASAKI, Kanagawa — A high school student who evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture in the wake of the 2011 nuclear disaster was bullied at a junior high school here, according to a legal team supporting evacuees.

The Kawasaki Municipal Board of Education has stated that there are currently no cases of bullying toward any pupils who have evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture in any of the city’s elementary or junior high schools. Since the student in question has come forward about bullying, however, the education board has begun an investigation into junior high school graduates as well, which would include this pupil.

According to the legal team, the pupil entered Kawasaki Municipal Junior High School in April 2012, and was verbally abused by classmates who told him, “People from Fukushima are stupid,” and, “Don’t come near me.” He was also punched and kicked, the team said. The pupil’s family consulted with the school but no solution was reached as his classmates denied any bullying.

The pupil’s parents appeared at the Yokohama District Court for a class action lawsuit filed by evacuees to demand compensation from the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, and stated that although they have had a tough time over the past few years, they have received support from people around them.

At this lawsuit, the parents of a boy who evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture to an elementary school in Yokohama said, “My son stopped attending school as a result of bullying.”

Meanwhile, it has been learned that another male student from Fukushima Prefecture was bullied in Yokohama.

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20161215/p2a/00m/0na/015000c

December 16, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , | Leave a comment

School Bullyism Against Fukushima Evacuees Children

gjkhkjlkm

Fukushima evacuee hurt by teacher’s remark

Education authorities in Niigata City, north of Tokyo, have apologized after learning that a school teacher used a word that can mean “germ” to address a pupil. The boy had evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture after the 2011 nuclear accident.
Officials of the city’s education board said on Friday that the 4th grader has not been able to attend his elementary school for more than a week because of what happened.
They say the boy consulted his homeroom teacher several days before the incident. He said his classmates were calling him “kin”, which can mean “germ”.
The teacher has reportedly explained that the students had a habit of adding “kin” to each other’s names, as a way of showing friendliness to their classmates.
He said this also made them sound like “Anakin” Skywalker in the Star Wars movie series and other celebrities.
The teacher said he added the suffix to the students’ names, but he never intended to refer to them as “germs”.
But the officials said the teacher’s use of the term was inconsiderate and hurt the feelings of the pupil, who felt he was being bullied and was seeking help.
They said the teacher will visit the boy and his parents to apologize, and the education board will offer support so he can return to his school.
In a similar recent case, another young evacuee from Fukushima said he was called a “germ” at his school in Yokohama and he thought of killing himself many times.
His parents have criticized school and local education board officials for failing to promptly act on their complaint.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20161202_30/

Teacher ‘insulted’ Fukushima boy in latest school bullying case

NIIGATA–In the latest classroom bullying case involving children from Fukushima, a fourth-grader has not attended school for more than a week due to the alleged victimization by a teacher as well as his classmates.

The municipal board of education here is investigating the harassment of the boy who had the derogatory term “germ” added to his name by his classmates, which was then apparently emulated by his teacher.The boy has been absent from his elementary school since his homeroom teacher, who is in his 40s, is alleged to have used the insult on the boy. The teacher has denied the accusation, but other pupils have corroborated the boy’s account.

The school’s principal has admitted that the teacher’s behavior was problematic.

The principal also said in an interview with The Asahi Shimbun on Dec. 2 that the school will provide an opportunity for the teacher to apologize directly to the student and his parents.

The case is the latest to have surfaced of the potentially widespread bullying at their new schools of Fukushima students who fled the 2011 nuclear disaster.

Last month, media reports on a 13-year-old junior high school boy who moved to Yokohama recounted his experiences at his elementary school through his handwritten notes, sparking huge repercussions across the country.

In Tokyo, another Fukushima boy attending junior high school described his ordeal at his elementary school in an interview with The Asahi Shimbun later that month.

The two boys were called “germ” by their classmates, who also harassed them in other ways.

But in the Niigata case, the teacher called the boy by the insulting name in front of other students when he handed his pupil a correspondence notebook on Nov. 22, according to the boy’s mother.

The boy appeared to be devastated by the teacher’s behavior, which compounded the anxiety he already felt when his family was unable to contact his father to make sure he was safe after a powerful quake jolted Fukushima Prefecture earlier that day. His father works in the prefecture.

The following day was a national holiday and the school was closed. The boy has not attended the school since Nov. 24.

The boy’s family moved to Niigata over concerns about radiation in 2011 following the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March that year.

According to his mother, some of his classmates began ostracizing him and calling him “germ” when he was in the third grade.

When he entered the fourth grade, some children threw away his stationery and broke his umbrella, and the harassment later escalated.

Although his mother was worried about him, he reassured her, saying, “I have friends who are trying to protect me. I will be OK.”

But he became visibly depressed when he learned of the report about the bullying the boy in Yokohama went through, according to his mother.

My son must have thought that he is also the victim of severe harassment,” his mother said.

Urged on by his mother, he told his homeroom teacher on Nov. 17 that he, too, was being called “germ” by other children.

Five days later, however, he found that his teacher had joined in the name-calling.

His mother contacted the school to raise the issue. The teacher initially denied the allegation when school officials inquired.

I have never said such a thing, given that the boy came to me for counseling,” the teacher was quoted by one of the officials as saying.

But the teacher was found to have actually used the insult when other teachers interviewed all the students in the boy’s class on Nov. 29. Some students admitted that they called the boys by an unkind name and that the teacher, too, had done the same.

According to the principal, the homeroom teacher said he wanted to apologize for being insensitive.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201612020060.html

December 5, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment