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Osaka Pref. school made teens stay on hot buses as punishment

A guardian of a female junior high school student who suffered suspected heatstroke after being kept on a bus for hours, is seen during a press conference at the Osaka Prefectural Government office on Aug. 9, 2022. (Mainichi/Shunsuke Takara)

OSAKA -- A municipal junior high school made two students stay inside hot buses for violating a school rule during a field trip in June, the Mainichi Shimbun learned from the school and the students' guardians on Aug. 9.

    Upon returning home, the two students complained of headaches and other suspected heatstroke symptoms. The Izumiotsu municipal education board in Osaka Prefecture issued a strict warning to the school principal on July 15, saying, "This was a life-threatening incident, and should not have happened."

    According to the school, a female student was found to have spent one night in the boys' accommodation during a third-year field trip to Gifu Prefecture and other locales from June 27 to 29. The girl and the male student who had invited her over were ordered to stay inside separate buses during free time on June 29.

    In total, the male student was made to wait for about two hours and the female student for about two hours and 10 minutes, each accompanied by a teacher. Although they were given some time outside, the parking lot prohibited vehicles from keeping their engines idling, and the buses had their engines off. The windows and doors were kept open, and the teachers allegedly gave them drinks and rice balls.

    The principal told the Mainichi, "We didn't lock them (the students) up, but we didn't give enough thought to heatstroke risks."

    The guardian of the girl told an Aug. 9 press conference at the Osaka Prefectural Government office, "Keeping them in a hot place for a long time is a kind of corporal punishment. They (the school) put the children's lives in danger."

    (Japanese original by Shunsuke Takara, Izumisano Resident Bureau)

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