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Another Fukushima evacuee bullied at school: support group

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.

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