Entire Class of Cheerleaders from One of Nation’s Best High School Teams Quit in Protest of Coach’s Inappropriate Advances
Yomiuri Shimbun: チア部員に監督が不適切行為、高２全員が退部届
January 17, 2012
All ten second graders on Obihiro (Hokkaido) High School’s cheerleading team quit on January 5 because of their male coach’s inappropriate behavior, it was learned on the 16th.
The school said it did not know about the case because the supervisor was not present.
According to the prefectural education department, last December 27, a parent from the school called the prefectural government to complain that the school’s assistant principal, a male and the coach of the team, was making inappropriate advances toward a member of the team, such as calling out “Let’s get married!” to her, giving her a necklace, grabbing her hand, and touching her body. The program is very strong; it has participated in the Japan Cup two years running.
The department called the coach twice to ask him about the matter. He said “it’s true that things like that happened,” and his explanation was that “in every case, it was part of a communication strategy to encourage the students, but they took it the wrong way.” The department said “the school has now heard the details of the matter, and we have told them to respond to it appropriately.”
114 Students Died Playing Judo From 1983-2010
Yomiuri Shimbun: 中高生１１４人、柔道で死亡していた…名大調査
January 17, 2012
Fatal accidents at school judo practices are continuing. A typical accident: a student without proper training is on the receiving end of a throw; he suffers a blow to the head; finally, he does not receive proper emergency medical care.
According to Nagoya University Associate Professor of Sociology of Education Ryō Uchida, in the 28 years from 1983-2010, 114 Japanese students (39 junior high schoolers and 75 high schoolers) died from judo accidents. Junior high schoolers and first year high schoolers together made up half the total; 14 students died during class time. In addition, accidents handicapped 275 students between 1983 to 2009, three tenths of them during class time.
Of every 100,000 students who participated in judo competitions from 2000-2009, 2.376 died, which is far higher than the second highest rate on the list, basketball’s (0.371 per 100,000). The majority of deaths were caused by impact to the head. “If the neck muscles are not yet developed, then performing free exercises, standing throws, and the like is dangerous,” Dr. Uchida warned.
“Junior High School Diary” to End 50-Year Run in March
Yomiuri Shimbun: 「中学生日記」３月で終了…１９６２年から放送
NHK Nagoya announced on the 18th that the March 16 episode of “Middle School Diary” will be the program’s last.
The show will be succeeded by a show about teens working to achieve their hopes and dreams called “Teens Project Fure☆Fure” [Fure has a double meaning of “proclamation/announcement” and “hooray!”] from April.
“Middle School Diary” portrayed the daily lives of Nagoya-area junior high schoolers. It debuted in 1962 as “Jirō the Middle School Student”. According to the station, interest in the program had waned for years, and its current viewership rating is only 1%.
High School Student Repeatedly Bullied into Giving Money to Former Classmate, Claims 3 Million Yen Extorted in All
Yomiuri Shimbun: 恐喝繰り返され…高校生「３００万取られた」
January 18, 2012
The Aichi Police Department arrested three minors on the 18th for continuing to threaten a 17-year old male high school student after they had already bullied him into giving them ¥900,000 (~$11,700) in cash.
The student said about ¥3 million (~$39,000) was extorted from him in all. The police are performing a corroborative investigation.
According to the police report, the youths who were arrested were a construction worker and a part-time worker in Seto and a part-time worker in Owariasahi. From late July to September 1, the construction worker extorted ¥600,000 from the student by telling him things like “a motorcycle gang is aiming for you. You should pay them money to protect yourself” and “my father had to pay ¥1 million to speak to the gangsters behind the motorcycle gang (on your behalf).” After that, the other two youths joined the plot; the police suspect them of extorting ¥900,000 from the victim in all.
The young man from Owariasahi is also charged with verbally assaulting the student and punching him in the face in a Seto public park on September 4, leaving him injured for two weeks.
Two of the youths have confessed to the charges: “We went after him because his family is rich. We used the money to go out and have fun.” The Owariasahi youth admitted punching the student but denied the money was extorted, saying it was merely the repayment of a loan.
Every time the student was threatened, he took money out of the family account and handed over the cash; eventually the family realized what was happening when they made withdrawals of their own. The construction worker was acquainted with the student because he attended and then dropped out of the same high school. The two other youths were his buddies.