If you read any japan-related newspaper or blog, you have read that wire by now:
TOKYO, Japan (Reuters) — A Japanese teenager was forced by his teacher to write an apology in blood after dozing in the classroom, the school’s principal said on Monday.Source: Reuter through CNN
Somebody interestingly translated a different article about this story as published by the Asahi Shimbun.
I know this is old material, but I could not miss this occasion to point out that the teacher did not get much grief and nobody involved even considered any kind of retaliatory action, beside some small verbal admonestation by the principal and, I guess, an invitation to use more traditional methods of discipline the next time around. While this lack of lawsuit probably shocked beyond words American soccer moms, it is hardly anything surprising in Japan.
As Galvin, JET teacher from hell, only half-jokingly pointed out: if you were to “accidentally” dislocate the arm of a student or gouge out a few eyes while experimenting with some novel educative methods with your class, not only would you be entirely safe from any blame whatsoever, but the parents would probably come and present you with their apologies for having raised such a clumsy troublemaker.
Japanese kids are no angels, mind you. They are, maybe as much if not more than they Western counterparts, unbearable spoiled brats. But unlike in the US, where parents expect teachers to live the same kid-ruled hell they go through themselves, Japanese parents consider school to be outside of their realm of lax leniency (and the kids better get used to it, because it doesn’t get any better for them until University, provided they get in, that is).
That being said, I’m glad my teachers never got this bright educational idea, as I would probably be long dead from anemia (instead of that, I left school with a flawless knowledge of irregular German verbs that has not abandoned me to this day, not in small part due to having copied them thousands of times for various punitive reasons).