The current state and challenges of school bullying in Japan: Examining the invisible phenomenon in bullying
三津村, 正和Masakazu, MITSUMURA
115 , 2016-03-31 , 創価大学教育学部・教職大学院
Abstract\nThis paper aims to discuss the current state and challenges of school bullying in\nJapan from a comprehensive perspective, simultaneously exploring the fundamental\nquestion: Why school bullying cannot be stopped?\nThe author first attempts to take a general view of statistical data relevant to school\nbullying, statistics that has been accumulated over a 30-year period since 1985 when the\nMinistry of Education launched the national survey of school bullying, which shows the\nirregularity of statistics due to the repeated alteration of the definition of bullying as well as\nthe lowering of the age where bullying occurs. In more detail, secondary schools had had\nthe highest rates of bullying until 2011; however, elementary schools instead have become\nthe largest institution that has victimized children who are being bullied from 2012 on.\nThe author then examines some of the important texts retrieved from the Anti-\nBullying Law that was enacted on September 28, 2013, followed by pointing out its\nbecoming a dead letter through illustrating the tragic event in which a 13-year-old boy\ncommitted suicide on July 5, 2015, to escape from severe bullying that he had endured\nand the school where he attended never took any measures regardless of the fact that\nhe had continuously sent his SOS to the school.\nThe author finally discusses the invisible phenomenon of school bullying as one of\nthe factors that bring about the state where the Law has been reduced to an empty shell\nas described above. In his analysis, the reasons causing the phenomenon that bullying\ncan be invisible for many teachers are: 1) the lack of sensitivity that enables them to\nsympathize the inner feelings and pain of a victimized child; and 2) the lack of a sense of\nhuman rights that leads them to detect perpetrators’ physical and psychological attacks\naimed for causing victimized children severe pain. The author concludes that such\nteachers’ innate dispositions contribute to the invisible phenomenon of school bullying,\nwhich may be one of the reasons that school bullying cannot be stopped in Japanese\nschools. In addition, the author argues some other points indispensable to eradicating\nschool bullying in Japan.