News24

Bullied boy's suicide sparks bomb threats

2012-07-10 19:25

Tokyo - The suicide of a 13-year-old boy in central Japan has sparked a series of bomb threats against his school and the local government over claims of negligence in the case, police said on Tuesday.

The boy's death has snowballed into a national scandal amid reports that bullies routinely forced him to "practice" killing himself before he took his own life, and that his teacher brushed off the abuse as a joke.

A letter sent to the boy's school in Shiga prefecture threatened that the building would be bombed unless the pupils and teachers involved apologise, local authorities said.
"The school called police on Monday after receiving a threat in the mail, which demanded pupils and teachers involved in the bullying publicly apologise," a local police officer said.

Other threats included bombing regional government buildings, a local education board and even the police department, but it was unclear if one person was behind all the threats, police said.

The boy leapt to his death in October from an apartment building in the city of Otsu in central Japan, which has one of the world's highest suicide rates.

His death has since gained national prominence after reports said the school conducted a pupil survey that revealed the boy was routinely subjected to a litany of abuse by bullies.

The school has disputed any link between the allegedly abusive pupils and the boy's death but the survey reportedly said his teacher was aware of the bullying and ignored it.

Neither the school nor local authorities have fully disclosed the results of the survey, drawing heavy media criticism.

Comments
  • Jellyarse - 2012-07-11 06:00

    O.F.F.sake NEWS24! News is meant to be current. This is really scraping the bottom of the barrel. It happened almost a year ago!

  • delish7564 - 2012-07-11 10:28

    Bullying has always existed in one form or another and no doubt always will, but the tone seems to have become more sinister and it's about time people are held accountable. Social media plays a part.......at least when I was at school you could escape from the bullies once you were safe at home, but no longer. On the other hand the defnition of "bullying" has changed. In my day, name calling was just that and you were told to ignore it and get on with life. Arguments were sorted out by fights in the playground, but these days there is no escape and that includes the workplace too. There has definitely been an increase in suicides which is worrying but that is coupled with a general lack of respect for other people and the breakdown of discipline both at home and in schools. On the one hand children are encouraged to report any form of bullying (some of which wouldn't have been classed as such before) but that is then ignored. I don't know what the answer is. Some people definitely need to "toughen up" otherwise they will never deal with the "outside world beyond school", however, there has got to be another solution where children feel safe discussing such issues and know it will be dealt with. The worry is that bullying will go even deeper underground and the number of suicides will increase.

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