Sapporo School Board to appoint specialist counselors to prevent sexual abuse by teachers

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This file photo shows the building housing the Sapporo City Board of Education. (Mainichi/Nozomi Gemma)

SAPPORO – The Sapporo City Board of Education announced plans on June 3 to appoint lawyers and other specialists as advisers to the board of education to prevent sexual violence by teachers and school staff.

The move comes amid the disciplinary dismissal of a municipal high school teacher in Hokkaido’s prefectural capital, Sapporo, who is suspected of committing indecent acts towards a student 29 years ago.

In 2016, the city conducted an investigation following a request from the alleged female victim, but was unable to establish the facts regarding the teacher’s indecent behavior. As a result, in March this year, a third-party lawyer looked into the actions taken at the time. One report raised issues such as the lack of training opportunities to cultivate the fact-finding skills of employees who were responsible for the investigation at the time, and problems in investigation methods.

In response to this report and a law enacted in April to prevent sexual violence by teachers and other education personnel, the Sapporo municipal government plans to assign two lawyers as well as a clinical psychologist or certified psychology specialist as designated councilors for municipal education. plank. The specialists will organize training sessions targeting teachers and employees, and give advice on how to take action for the victims. The city government is currently asking the Sapporo Bar Association and other bodies to recommend councilors and plans to put them in place in early July.

Regarding the alleged victim’s request for the city to hold a press conference, authorities revealed that they had no plans to do so, saying, “We have disclosed the matter to the media and continue to respond. to the question while receiving feedback. (of the victim) through documents.”

(Japanese original by Kohei Shinkai, Hokkaido News Department)

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