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'Why were you born?': 2 teachers in central Japan punished for abusing student

The Toyama Prefectural Government headquarters is seen in this photo taken by a Mainichi Shimbun helicopter. (Mainichi/Tatsuya Onishi)

TOYAMA -- A high school student in eastern Toyama Prefecture became unable to attend classes and was forced to transfer to a different school after being diagnosed with autonomic imbalance due to verbal abuse by two teachers last year, the Toyama Prefectural Board of Education revealed on Sept. 1.

    A male teacher in particular is said to have told off the student, who did not go to the hospital when she was not feeling well, by saying, "It would be a problem for you to infect others with a horrible infectious disease," referring to the coronavirus.

    The prefectural education board acknowledged that the remarks were inappropriate guidance and offered an apology to the student's side, which claimed compensation for damages. As a result of mediation at the Toyama Summary Court, both sides settled on the condition of the education board paying a total of 1.2 million yen (roughly $11,000) including compensation and expenses that were required for the student to transfer to another school.

    According to the education board, the male teacher made the student stand up and rebuked her for her poor performance in the subject he was in charge of, and made remarks such as, "Why were you born? I'm not saying that you should die, but still." When the student was late for a supplementary class, a female teacher made remarks including, "Your evaluation will be in accordance (with the way you act)."

    The education board on Sept. 1 reprimanded the male teacher with a warning, and handed a strict written warning to the female teacher. Furthermore, the principal at the time was given a written warning and the vice principal a verbal reprimand.

    (Japanese original by Kenta Sunaoshi, Toyama Bureau)

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