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July 11, 2005

Former Nova Teacher Wins Court Decision

A 48-year old Australian former teacher at Nova has won his lawsuit against the major language school operator, who fired him in 2001 for socializing with a female student in contravention of his contract. According to the website, the Osaka High Court recently ordered the company to rescind its disciplinary dismissal of the teacher and pay him ¥1 million in compensation. The teacher had been seeking ¥5 million, claiming that the dismissal was a human rights abuse.

According to the findings of an earlier trial at the Osaka District Court last December, the former teacher had been socializing with a female student since 2000. But the following year, the student complained to Nova that the teacher had turned up at her home, leading the school to fire the teacher. The district court ruled that a comprehensive ban on socializing was not socially acceptable, but that as the teacher had reportedly telephoned the student repeatedly, the contract clause could be upheld. The teacher appealed that decision to the high court. In June, the presiding judge advised a settlement, which was reached on July 4. In a statement, Nova said, "We don't have a practice of forbiding all socializing between teachers and students, and we think the first court decision recognized the propriety of our regulations. The woman and the former teacher have already reached a reconciliation, so we see no need to consider with the court case."
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