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Ex-vice principal of west Japan school where teachers went on strike to sue operator

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OSAKA -- A former vice principal of a private high school in west Japan, who was dismissed after teachers went on strike over unpaid salaries, revealed on June 16 that he will file a lawsuit against the school operator seeking confirmation of his position.

    The man in his 60s, who was the vice principal of Wakayama Nanryo High School in Hidakagawa, Wakayama Prefecture, will file a lawsuit with the Kishiwada branch of the Osaka District Court against school operator Nanryo Gakuen, based in central Japan's Shizuoka Prefecture, demanding confirmation of his status. He claims that he was unfairly dismissed on disciplinary grounds for his speech and behavior in a staff meeting.

    The school corporation's chairperson has doubled as principal at Wakayama Nanryo High School since 2021. The Wakayama Prefectural Government has issued administrative guidance because the principal is not stationed at the high school.

    According to the written complaint, the man joined the school in February 2022 as vice principal. He discovered that the assistance grants provided by the Japanese government had not been refunded to students' guardians and that the salaries of the teachers had not been paid. He asked the chairperson for an explanation of the circumstances, but received no clarification, and then decided at the May 11 staff meeting to cancel classes. He was abruptly dismissed as of June 3.

    The corporation explained the reason for the dismissal was that the man said at a staff meeting that "the Wakayama Prefectural Government has also approved" of the boycott and that he yelled at teachers who opposed the move. It also cited the fact that he responded to the press at his own discretion.

    At a news conference in Osaka, the man said, "I did not make the statement that the corporation cited. I would like to return to school."

    Nanryo Gakuen, through its lawyer, stated, "We have not seen the written complaint, so we cannot comment on the matter."

    (Japanese original by Kumiko Yasumoto, Osaka City News Department)

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