After the boy’s suicide, the school officially recognized its mistake.
The principal of a junior high school in Hiroshima Prefecture apologized Wednesday after his school last year refused to support a graduating student’s high school entrance application due to an error in its records, leading to the boy committing suicide.
The 15-year-old killed himself on Dec 8 after the school informed his parents that it would not issue a personal recommendation to his chosen high school because his student file stated he had shoplifted when he was in his first year at the school. The record turned out to be erroneous.
Appearing before a school assembly, the principal Hiroshi Sakamoto offered his apology to the student body for the error, and for lying about the reason for the boy’s death.
Despite knowing the boy had committed suicide, the school had falsely stated the boy died of acute heart failure a day after the tragedy.
A review into the case of the boy’s death found that a teacher who entered the shoplifting charge into the school’s records had been informed verbally by another faculty member that it was a different student who had shoplifted, but mistakenly wrote the name of the deceased boy.
The administrative mistake was noticed during an October 2013 meeting at the school, located in the town of Fuchu, shortly after the theft had occurred. The faculty members who attended the meeting made the necessary corrections in the documents they had, but the changes were not reflected in the school’s computer system.
In explaining the tragic error, Sakamoto said at a press conference Tuesday that the school had no one in charge of vetting computer data at the time.
The boy skipped a meeting with the school and his parents scheduled for Dec. 8 and killed himself that day. After the boy’s suicide, the school officially recognized its mistake.
The town education board said in cases of student misconduct, a teacher should have compiled written records such as a statement from the student addressing the incident and opinions of guardians, but in the boy’s case, there were no such records.
“Our child would never have taken his life if the school’s data management was not sloppy and the school did not make the mistake,” the boy’s family said in a statement.
Source, video and image: Kyodo