Bullying blamed on conformity

19th January 1996 at 00:00
JAPAN. School bullies should be held accountable for their actions and punishments could include suspension, a government panel has concluded. It says bullying is a human rights issue.

The anti-bullying panel was set up at the end of 1994 after a series of suicides of junior and senior high-school pupils who had been physically and mentally tormented by their classmates.

In one case a 13-year-old junior high-school pupil hanged himself in his garden after bullies repeatedly extorted money from him.

Another victim was unable to cope with the taunts of his classmates and jumped in front of a moving train.

The ministry of finance has already reacted by making Pounds 10 million available for psychologists and counsellors to visit schools where bullying is a problem.

Funds are also being made available to help groups of pupils, teachers, parents and government officials develop new ideas for tackling bullying.

The police have also started to spend more time on cases of playground bullying. More than 3,000 incidents were investigated by the agency last year including a 130 cases which resulted in charges of assault or extortion.

However, the measures taken against bullying have been criticised for not identifying the underlying causes including, it is argued, the ethos of an education system which places too much emphasis on children conforming and on standardisation.

More respect for individualism, a growing number of teachers now believe, will lead to a more tolerant attitude towards pupils who are different or who find it difficult to conform.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now