Nursery school probed over alleged abuse

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Shizuoka prefectural and Susono municipal officials enter Sakura nursery school in Susono, Shizuoka Prefecture, on Saturday.

Three nursery school teachers allegedly abused children in such ways as suspending them off the floor and showing them a box cutter knife at a nursery school in Susono, Shizuoka Prefecture, according to the city’s government.

The prefectural and municipal governments on Saturday conducted a special audit of the Sakura nursery school, a private licensed nursery school, based on the Child Welfare Law and other regulations.

The special audit started Saturday morning with approximately 10 officials entering the preschool. The series of alleged acts is thought highly likely to constitute abuse. The prefectural police have also begun an investigation.

According to the city government, the three were in charge of a class for 1-year-olds. From June to August of this year, they allegedly committed 15 acts of abuse against the children, including grabbing them by the legs and hanging them upside down, leaving them in a dark room, taking cell-phone pictures of them crying, and telling them, “You’re dead,” after putting them to bed.

After other staff reported such behavior, the nursery school investigated and suspended the three employees in September, and they resigned by the end of November.

In mid-August, the city also received a report from a concerned individual and requested the nursery school to report the facts.

Subsequently, in late October, the nursery school had all of its staff sign a written pledge not to divulge the problem as the “school’s confidential matters.”