Japanese schools are known for enforcing strict regulations, and one of the most common rules implemented by a large majority of schools is a no-drinking policy during class-times. It’s not just students who aren’t allowed to drink during class either, it’s a frowned-upon act for teachers too, given that they should be setting a good example for the children.
Sadly, not all teachers care about setting a good example, however, as evidenced by one elementary school teacher on the main island of Okinawa Prefecture recently. According to the prefectural board of education, the 51-year-old teacher wasn’t just sipping on water or juice while teaching — he was found to have been imbibing alcohol during class.
The incident occurred on two occasions, with the teacher drinking a 350-milliliter can of chu-hai at the front of the classroom during class on Feb 22, and then again on Feb 26, while the students were working on individual tasks.
▼ A Chu-hai (often rendered as “Chu-Hi”) combines shochu, a distilled spirit, with carbonated water and a flavor like fruit juice, and can contain as much as 12-percent alcohol.
A wide variety of chu-hai brands exist on the market, and while it’s not known which one the teacher was drinking, a student in the class at the time recognized the can to be an alcoholic beverage and reported it to another teacher on 26 February.
When questioned by fellow staff, the teacher admitted to drinking alcohol in class, expressing remorse and saying he “drank it on impulse“.
On April 15, the Okinawa Prefectural Board of Education told the media that the teacher had been disciplined with a ten-percent reduction in salary for three months, in accordance with the Local Public Service Act.
The head of the prefectural board of education apologized for the teacher’s actions, saying it was not correct conduct for a civil servant in the education system. He also said the board would strive to restore trust and prevent a recurrence by tightening disciplinary actions for staff and ensuring thorough implementation of the Public Service Act throughout schools in the region.
Restoring trust ought to be high on the list of priorities for board of educations throughout Japan right now, given that another elementary school teacher in Japan was recently disciplined for hiding students’ shoes and writing “die” on their belongings.
Source: Mainichi Shimbun via Jin
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