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Osaka teacher reprimanded for criticizing school's virus response on Twitter

The Sakai City Hall is seen in Sakai's Sakai Ward. (Mainichi/Kensuke Yaoi)

SAKAI, Osaka -- The Sakai Municipal Board of Education reprimanded in July an elementary school teacher in his 20s for criticizing the policy taken by the school in response to the spread of the coronavirus on social media, it has been learned.

    According to the education board, the teacher had repeatedly posted comments on Twitter in March criticizing a service to take care of children that the school in the city of Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, western Japan, had just launched in response to a temporary closure to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. His tweets included, "We (teachers) aren't babysitters," and "What are we going to do if elderly teachers get infected?"

    An education board official noticed the posts in April, and identified the teacher by a photo of him posted on his account. The teacher explained to investigators, "I wanted my opinion to be widely known. I regret my actions."

    The education board commented, "Though it's anonymous, the man identified himself as a teacher at a city-run school and criticized the municipal education board's response, so his actions could trigger confusion among parents, guardians and others."

    (Japanese original by Fusajiro Takada, Osaka Bureau)

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