NIIGATA, Japan (Kyodo) — An elementary school pupil who evacuated from Fukushima in the wake of the 2011 nuclear disaster has skipped school for more than a week since a male teacher added “germ” to his name when addressing him in late November, a local education board said Friday.
The fourth-grade pupil told the teacher, in his 40s, before the summer holidays that he was distressed as other pupils were addressing him by adding “germ” to his name.
According to the education board, the teacher then added “germ” while addressing the boy in a classroom on Nov. 22, just five days after the boy approached the teacher again about his treatment by fellow pupils.
Nov. 22 was also the day of a strong earthquake off Fukushima in the early morning, reminding many of the massive March 2011 quake and tsunami that triggered the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
On Nov. 24, the boy’s parents complained to the elementary school and other teachers interviewed every pupil in the class five days later.
“Despite being approached by the pupil for help, the teacher said something extremely inconsiderate and inappropriate,” an official of the education board said.
The case follows an earlier report of bullying in Yokohama, where a 13-year-old evacuee from Fukushima was verbally and physically attacked as he comes from the devastated prefecture. The elementary school and local education board failed to offer meaningful support in that case, according to a third-party panel of the city’s education board.