Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Concerns over Bullying Prevention Legislation: "Draconianism is no solution."

A meeting held on June 11 in the Upper House Members' Office Building examined the bill concerning promotion of measures for prevention of bullying and other school harassments. The bill drafted by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner New Komei Party was submitted to the Lower House on May 17. It was enacted on June 21, after several rounds of working-level consultations were hastily held in a short period of time. In the meeting, titled "Is the Bullying Prevention Measures Law really the solution?", lawyers pointed out various problems of the bill. HOZUMI Masashi (photo) said that the bill regards bullying simply as conflicts between bullies and their targets, failing to capture complicated nature of bullying. He was also pointed out that the proposed measures including early involvement of police, disciplinary punishments and suspensions might lead to draconianism. OGASAWARA Saiko emphasized the danger of the bill that is designed in the way of "quality control." The bill completely lacks in reflection on fundamental causes that forced children into bullying and other wrongdoings, she said. (By YUMOTO Masanori)



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