Japan: Grief following the attack on schoolchildren in Kawasaki

published 29 May 2019 updated 11 June 2019

As people around the world express their shock and disbelief on the student stabbing in Japan, educators express their deepest sympathy and sorrow.

People around the world are shocked at the student stabbings in Japan. Educators are also disturbed that, once again, the school environment, in this case, in connection with transport to and from school, has proven to be unsafe.

According to reports, a man stabbed 18 schoolchildren while they were waiting at their bus stop, with a total of at least 20 people attacked in Kawasaki, Japan. An 11-year old girl, Hanako Kuribayashi, died in the attack, along with the father of one of the children, who was also an official in the Foreign Ministry, Satoshi Oyama. The students, all girls, attended Caritas, a local Catholic school. Special counselling services are being requested to help students deal with the trauma of the attack.

The EI affiliate in Japan, the Japan Teachers’ Union (JTU), reacted to the incident.

President Okajima, who also serves as a member of EI’s Executive Board, said that the JTU is saddened by the stabbing. “Our hearts go out to the victims of this heinous crime. We have a responsibility to make sure every student, from the time they leave for school to the time they get home, feels safe while seeking a quality education.”

Education International General Secretary David Edwards joined the JTU in expressing concern and sympathy; “The families of this atrocious attack have our deepest condolences. We are devastated by yet another attack on schoolchildren. This incident adds to a long list of tragedies where students have been targeted and murdered.”