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July 22, 2010

English teacher receives criticism for using 'Hangman' at school where student hung himself

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The Mainichi reports: 'A foreign English teacher in charge of an English class at Shumei Yachiyo Junior High School is facing criticism after it emerged that the teacher drew pictures of a person being hung (ala the game "Hangman") when students answered incorrectly in class. In 2008, a student at the school hung himself, but the teacher allegedly continued using the game regardless. The parents of the student who killed himself, meanwhile, are angry.'

'According to the parents of the third-year junior high student who hung himself on school grounds in November 2008, in his school notes there were also pictures that looked like hanging victims. At the wake for their son, the parents showed the picture they had found to their son's friend, who told them that it resembled pictures drawn by the English teacher in class, the parents say.'

Professor Kazumi Fujimori of Musashino University, a clinical psychologist and author of the book "Gakko Trauma to Kodomo no Kokoro no Care" commented: '"In these times, when there is a trend for even the media to show self-restraint in mentioning suicide, if that kind of instruction was really going on in the classroom, it shows great carelessness. Even if the teacher meant no harm, for the students, who must accept whatever form of teaching is given to them, it is similar to power harassment."

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