High school apologizes 2 years after student committed suicide due to bullying
The school principal of a city-run junior high school and an official of the Aomori city board of education in Japan apologized in person on Aug. 2 to the father of a bullied 13-year-old student, who committed suicide two years ago.
Namioka Junior High School apologized for Rima Kasai’s death in 2016, after the final report by the city’s bullying prevention council concluded that Kasai’s suicide was brought about by the bullying she experienced from her classmates, reported Asahi Shimbun last Friday, Aug. 3. The apology was made not long after the council forwarded the report to the board.
The final report discovered that Kasai was bullied by her classmates in person. About 20 incidents cited in the report were identified as acts of bullying.
Kasai was also cyberbullied. The final report stated that Kasai was a victim of abusive language directed to her on Twitter, which includes “groundless rumors” about her on the Line messaging app, the report said.
Moreover, the council’s final report also held the high school liable for what happened. It stated that the school “relied on teachers’ individual abilities” in dealing with Kasai’s bullying, and that set of circumstances “reached its limits as no organized action was taken.”
The council’s final report cited that Kasai suffered psychologically from the bullying she experienced. Aside from the mental stress she was experiencing, she also developed depression, which lead up to her taking her own life two years ago.
“The report is filled with my daughter’s wish to eradicate bullying,” said Rima’s father, Go, to the paper. “I am grateful (to the council).” He also noted that bullying is fueled by “excessive academic competition at schools” and that this practice has to change.
Kasai took her life in August 2016 by jumping into a train’s path from a station platform. She left a note on her phone saying she can no longer put up with the bullying. Kate Matriano/JB
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