The current state and challenges of school bullying in Japan: Examining the invisible phenomenon in bullying
三津村, 正和MITSUMURA, Masakazu
115 , 2016-03-31 , 創価大学教育学部・教職大学院
AbstractThis paper aims to discuss the current state and challenges of school bullying inJapan from a comprehensive perspective, simultaneously exploring the fundamentalquestion: Why school bullying cannot be stopped?The author first attempts to take a general view of statistical data relevant to schoolbullying, statistics that has been accumulated over a 30-year period since 1985 when theMinistry of Education launched the national survey of school bullying, which shows theirregularity of statistics due to the repeated alteration of the definition of bullying as well asthe lowering of the age where bullying occurs. In more detail, secondary schools had hadthe highest rates of bullying until 2011; however, elementary schools instead have becomethe largest institution that has victimized children who are being bullied from 2012 on.The author then examines some of the important texts retrieved from the Anti-Bullying Law that was enacted on September 28, 2013, followed by pointing out itsbecoming a dead letter through illustrating the tragic event in which a 13-year-old boycommitted suicide on July 5, 2015, to escape from severe bullying that he had enduredand the school where he attended never took any measures regardless of the fact thathe had continuously sent his SOS to the school.The author finally discusses the invisible phenomenon of school bullying as one ofthe factors that bring about the state where the Law has been reduced to an empty shellas described above. In his analysis, the reasons causing the phenomenon that bullyingcan be invisible for many teachers are: 1) the lack of sensitivity that enables them tosympathize the inner feelings and pain of a victimized child; and 2) the lack of a sense ofhuman rights that leads them to detect perpetrators’ physical and psychological attacksaimed for causing victimized children severe pain. The author concludes that suchteachers’ innate dispositions contribute to the invisible phenomenon of school bullying,which may be one of the reasons that school bullying cannot be stopped in Japaneseschools. In addition, the author argues some other points indispensable to eradicatingschool bullying in Japan.