His Students Drugged His Lunch…He Was Forced to Work Over 150 Hours of Overtime a Month…He Committed Suicide in the Middle of Class…Government Still Rules Working Conditions Did Not Cause Teacher’s Death

His Students Drugged His Lunch…He Was Forced to Work Over 150 Hours of Overtime a Month…He Committed Suicide in the Middle of Class…Government Still Rules Working Conditions Did Not Cause Teacher’s Death
Yomiuri Shimbun: 生徒が給食に薬、残業150時間…自殺は公務外
April 9, 2012

The Miyagi Prefecture Public Employees’ Compensation Fund has ruled that the suicide of Mr. Hiroshi Ōizumi, who was a 43-year old teacher at Nakata Junior High School in Tome City when he leapt out of the school building to his death in 2008, was not a consequence of his working conditions. Mr. Ōizumi’s wife, Junko (age 47), who had filed the claim in 2009, has filed a protest of the decision with the fund’s oversight committee.

According to the prefectural teachers’ union, Mr. Ōizumi became a teacher at the school in 2006. His workplace harassment included being forced to work over 150 hours of overtime a month and students sneaking sleeping pills into his lunch. On February 7, 2008, in the middle of a rowdy class, he jumped out of the classroom’s third-story window to his death.

In 2009, Junko filed a claim with the compensation fund. This February (2012), the fund ruled that his suicide was not caused by his work.

After filing a protest, Junko held a press conference. She said, “I want them to take the value of human life seriously.”

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