School DVDs Aim to Curb Corporal Punishment

The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan), May 13, 2014 | Go to article overview

School DVDs Aim to Curb Corporal Punishment


In an effort to eradicate corporal punishment at school, the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education has produced three kinds of DVDs on how to prevent teachers from resorting to such physical means with children, including one targeting primary school students.

The DVDs are aimed at educating children--who are generally sensitive and tend to be heavily influenced by instructors--about what constitutes corporal punishment so that they can report it immediately if such a punishment is meted out. In addition to the DVD for primary school students--the first of its kind--there are two other DVDs: one for middle and high school students, and the other for teachers and parents.

In 2012, the Tokyo metropolitan government conducted a survey among teachers and students at all public-run schools on corporal punishment after a student who had been subject to physical punishment at the Osaka city-run Sakuranomiya High School committed suicide.

Until that year, the Tokyo board of education tallied the number of corporal punishment cases based on reports from schools. During the academic years from 2007 to 2011, there were about 30 reported cases of physical punishment.

According to the survey, however, there were 182 cases of corporal punishment and 542 cases in which teachers used abusive language or acted in an inappropriate manner.

In response to the findings, the Tokyo education board in January finished compiling comprehensive measures against corporal punishment that called for specific steps to be taken to help children understand what corporal punishment comprises.

In the three kinds of DVDs, actors play the parts of teachers hitting children and using abusive language so that children can recognize which behavior is regarded as corporal punishment and inappropriate instruction. …

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