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Teacher slammed for classroom comments offensive to LGBT people

WARABI, Saitama -- An elementary school teacher uttered phrases offensive to LGBT people such as "Who's the faggot?" during a fifth-grade lesson here, the Mainichi Shimbun has learned.

    Following the teacher's remarks, the parents of one of the pupils in the class -- who is an LGBT person -- complained to the school directly. It is understood that the offensive terms were not aimed specifically at this pupil, but the school has apologized, stating that it showed a "lack of consideration."

    According to both the school and the parents, the teacher made the comments during a social studies lesson on June 12. It is thought that the teacher made statements such as "Is there a 'faggot' in this room? Who's the 'faggot'?"

    Later that day, the LGBT pupil consulted with his parents about the comments after returning home, which prompted the parents to complain to the school. Following an investigation by the school, the teacher reportedly acknowledged that he made the statement, claiming that, "One of the male pupils was messing about and was pretending to speak like a girl while we were reading a textbook out loud. Therefore, I was keen to tell the child to stop fooling around, and inadvertently came out with the words that I did." The teacher later apologized to both the LGBT pupil and the parents.

    The LGBT pupil reportedly struggles to identify with either the male or female gender, and had made their classmates and school aware about their situation ever since entering the school. The teacher who made the remarks is not the child's homeroom teacher, but he was aware that there was an LGBT pupil in the class.

    In an interview with the Mainichi Shimbun, the parents said, "The problem is that the teacher made those comments, knowing there was an LGBT pupil in the room. He also offended our child's twin sibling, who was in the room as well."

    In April 2015, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology sent out notices to boards of education across Japan asking schools to show more consideration toward LGBT pupils.

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