In a shocking incident at Higashiyama Elementary School in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, a male teacher subjected a fifth-grade student to physical punishment, leading to a ruptured eardrum.
The City Board of Education made this announcement on October 27, 2023, committing to a thorough investigation and strict measures against the responsible teacher.
The incident took place after a small group of six students completed their math class on the 25th. A male teacher in his 40s asked one student to stay behind for additional coaching. During this session, the teacher slapped the boy multiple times on his left ear and cheek. Initially, the boy downplayed the injury, but he later experienced hearing difficulties. His mother learned about the incident from another child and promptly contacted the school. The teacher explained the situation and offered an apology.
The boy later received medical attention, with a diagnosis of a one-month recovery period for his eardrum. The teacher expressed remorse, taking full responsibility by saying, "I couldn't control my emotions and acted foolishly. It's entirely my fault." Currently, the teacher is in self-isolation at home.
Meanwhile, Principal Yasuhiro Sugimoto received the report on the evening of the incident. However, he was absent the following morning as he led a school trip to Nara Prefecture with sixth graders. He returned to the school around noon, taking over from the vice principal.
At a press conference, Principal Sugimoto issued a heartfelt apology, acknowledging, "I deeply apologize for the harm caused to the children, both mentally and physically. My leniency stemmed from my lack of understanding, and my response was inadequate." The school intends to hold an information session for parents on the 29th and will address and apologize to students during separate grade assemblies on the 30th.