Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mild Check for Education Board and Intimidation to Teachers: Supreme Court conclude politically on Kimigayo-related suspensions

The supreme court gave rulings on January 16 on three lawsuits filed by a total of 166 public school teachers who refused to stand and sing Kimigayo anthem at schools events. The court annulled suspensions and pay-cuts regarding two plaintiffs acknowledging that such punishments by Tokyo Metropolitan Education Board were excessive. However, the reprimands given to other 163 plaintiffs were endorsed.
While some appreciate the court's decision on the account that it will control the education board's moves to some extent, many find it unsatisfactory because the suspension was not annulled in the case of Ms. Kimiko Nezu, the icon of Kimigayo lawsuits. Both the plaintiff herself and the supporters were puzzled at first, but they came to understand what happened as they closely examined the verdict: The record of suspensions prior to the present case, including the one for ripping of Hinomaru flag, was mentioned. Mr. Makoto Iwai, the layer representing Ms. Nezu, severely criticized the court in the debriefing session. "The verdict shows the strong feeling of disgust the judges have against Ms. Nezu. They are determined not to tolerate those who disturb the order. It will impose enormous pressure on public schools." While the court mildly warned the education board, it relentlessly ruled out the plea of Ms. Nezu most probably to intimidate those may follow her suit.
The two-sided verdict reflects a political intension of the supreme court to interrupt the solidarity among teachers fighting against Kimigayo. (By M)
Photo News; Report by Yumi Sasaki; YouTube Video; Video (Remark of Lawyer Makoto Iwai); Photo: Lawyer Iwai showing the banner accusing the two-sided verdict

1月16日、最高裁で「君が代不起立」教員に対する3つの裁判(計166名)の判決があった。判決では、都教委が停職処分や減給処分までしたのはやりすぎとして、2名については停職・減給を取り消したが、163名の戒告処分は是認した。「一定の歯止めがかかった」と評価する声もあったが、問題が残った。「不起立」のシンボル的存在である根津公子さんの停職処分取り消しがなかったからだ。「一体なぜ?」本人も支援者も「狐につままれた」状態。判決文を読んで分かったことは、根津さんの過去の処分歴(日の丸引き降ろし等)が問題にされていたことだ。岩井信弁護士は報告集会で、「根津さんへの嫌悪感に満ちた判決文。秩序を乱す人間については許さないという内容で、教育現場に息苦しい重圧をもたらすもの」と痛烈に批判した。「一定の歯止め」をかけた一方で容赦ない「見せしめ」、最高裁が二つの顔を体現した政治的分断判決だった。(M) 写真速報動画(YouTube)  ・動画(岩井信弁護士のコメント)*写真=「分断判決弾劾」の垂れ幕をだす岩井弁護士

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