Bullying/violence in the schools

Bullying is a serious problem. In the early 1990s, the number of suicides related to bullying began to increase, as did the number of murders in which victims sought revenge against those who bullied them. According to a 1998 survey by the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications, 33% of elementary and junior high school students had been bullied, and as many as 56% had seen others bullied. In 1998, 3,599 public junior high schools (34.3% of the total) and 1,809 public senior high schools (43.5% of the total) reported incidents of violence.

In response, consultation among teachers, students and their parents is being encouraged and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology has been employing school counselors to visit elementary, junior and senior high schools since 1995. School counselors, the majority of whom are clinical psychologists, listen to the students' problems, advise the teachers and also counsel the parents. The number of schools with counselors in 2000 had reached 2,250.

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