Bullying news: No. of bullying cases on the rise

Bullying rises for third year in a row at junior high, high schools: NPA
Kyodo News
The number of bullying cases at elementary, junior high and high schools across Japan that police looked into last year rose by four from the previous year to 165 for the third consecutive yearly rise, the National Police Agency said Friday.

The caseload, which often involved more than one person, is the second-highest in the past decade, following a record 170 in 2000, the agency said.

The NPA said the bullies used violence or threats of violence in 155 cases, while there were 10 acts of revenge by victims.

The number of students arrested, questioned by police or otherwise taken into custody increased by 10 to 326. Junior high school students accounted for more 70 percent of the total, at 240, while there were 63 high school students and 23 elementary school students, it said.

Asked what prompted them to bully their victims, 27.3 percent said it was because victims were “weak and nonresistant,” followed by 27 percent who said victims “act like good students and are presumptuous,” while 11.7 percent accused the victims of “frequent lying” and 11.3 percent said their “attitudes and behavior were slow and dense.”

The survey also found more than 60 percent of 203 victims said they discussed the problem with someone else. Parents were among the most frequently consulted, at 41.9 percent, followed by teachers at 31.5 percent, advisers at police stations or headquarters at 13.8 percent, and friends at 3 percent.

Over the past decade, the number of bullying-related cases handled by police peaked in 2000 at 170. It dipped to 94 in 2002, but has continued to rise since, totaling 106 in 2003 and 161 in 2004.

Meanwhile, the Justice Ministry, alarmed by a series of suicides committed by bullied children, will expand the hours of a special hotline from Oct. 23 to 29.

During the period, the hours will be extended to 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.

Callers dialing a central number — (0570) 070-110 — will be connected to their nearest Legal Affairs Bureau, where experts on child human rights issues will respond to inquiries and help children and school authorities discuss the problem.

The Japan Times: Saturday, Oct. 21, 2006

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