Japan: Students Punished By Being Forced To Stay In Hot Buses

The Mainichi Shimbun reported on August 9 that two students at a municipal junior high school had to spend the day in an overheated bus because they had broken a school rule during a June field trip.

As soon as the two students got back to their house, they started complaining about how much their heads hurt and how they could be suffering from heatstroke. Osaka Prefecture’s Izumiotsu municipal education board issued a stern warning to the school principal on July 15, stating, “This was a life-threatening incident and should not have happened.”

While on a field trip from June 27-29, third-year students from the school were in Gifu Prefecture and other locations, where it was discovered that a female student had spent one night in the boys’ housing. On June 29th, the girl and the male student who had invited her over were told to spend their free time apart, locked inside their respective buses.

The male student was forced to wait for around two hours, while the female student was made to wait for approximately two hours and ten minutes. Both were accompanied by a teacher the whole time. They were allowed some time outdoors, but the buses couldn’t keep their engines running since the parking lot policy forbade them. Students say that teachers gave them drinks and rice snacks while leaving the windows and doors open.

The school’s headmaster said to the Mainichi, “We didn’t lock them up, but we didn’t give enough thought to heatstroke risks.”

At an Osaka Prefectural Government office news conference on August 9, the girl’s guardian said, “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.

Source: Japanese original by Shunsuke Takara, Izumisano Resident Bureau

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