A Japanese teacher recently made the news after punching a high school boy in the face; when the incident became viral on social media, however, many netizens gravitated to his side.
The incident involved a teacher who was engaged in a heated argument with a 16-year-old student in the hallway of Metropolitan Machida Sogo High School in Tokyo on January 15.
According to Soranews24, the student had been disciplined prior to the argument for violating the school’s dress code by wearing an earring to school.
The argument was captured on video by another student who uploaded the clip online. In the footage that has since been re-uploaded on multiple social media platforms, the student was heard telling the teacher: “Don’t mess with me.”
“Use that tiny brain of yours and think about it,” the boy told the 50-something professor. While the student’s voice can be easily heard due to its volume, the teacher’s words are not audible.
However, the teacher eventually gave his response by chest-bumping the student off him and then planting his right fist into his face.
After knocking the student to the floor, the teacher grabbed him by one arm and took him back to the centre of the hallway.
Some students are then seen running into the hallway and began to intervene by asking the teacher to stop. He then let go of the student who remained on the floor.
After the scuffle, the teen reportedly sustained a bruise on the face and a cut inside of his mouth. Japanese netizens who weighed in on the incident were understanding of the teacher’s actions.
“The school should keep the teacher and expel the student,” one commenter wrote.
“Well, yeah, of course, you’re gonna get punched if you talk to someone that way,” another chimed in.
A Change.org petition was created a week ago that seeks the teacher’s termination from the school, but it has so far drawn only 43 signatures as of this writing.
Meanwhile, both the teacher and the school have issued apologies to the boys’ guardians despite the public support the teacher received.
“I lost my temper at the student’s words and became violent, and I regret doing so,” the teacher said in a statement.
The teacher, who has no previous record of corporal punishment in disciplining students, is now being investigated by the school. School administrators are reportedly considering which type of disciplinary action to give him.
Possible criminal charges are also reportedly being discussed by the administrators with the local authorities.