TIME Japan

A Japanese School Has Apologized for a Clerical Error That Led to a Student’s Suicide

The mistake prevented the student from being accepted into the high school of his choice

A school in Japan apologized Wednesday for a record-keeping mistake that led one of its teenage students to take his own life.

The junior high school, located in the country’s Hiroshima Prefecture, had denied the student a letter of recommendation to the high school of his choice last year because their records showed he had been caught shoplifting, the Japan Times newspaper reported.

Their allegations later turned out to be false, with an investigation by the school finding that the culprit was another student. It was subsequently revealed that a teacher was informed about the crime verbally by one of his colleagues, but attached the details to the wrong pupil’s records on the school computer system.

The 15-year-old killed himself on Dec. 8, shortly after the school sent a letter to his parents outlining his alleged misdemeanors. Principal Hiroshi Sakamoto told reporters this week that the school did not have anyone tasked with monitoring its online records at the time of the incident, the Japan Times said.

Sakamoto apologized for the error during a public assembly on Wednesday. He also admitted to falsely ascribing the student’s death to acute heart failure, despite the school knowing about his suicide.

[Japan Times]

Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team