香山リカのココロの万華鏡:調査の「ゴール」が違う /東京

タイでは王室を中心として「to be number one」というサークル活動がタイ全土で盛んに行われています。私も10年前に参加しています。


July 15, 2012(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Otsu school's bullying survey missed the point
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:調査の「ゴール」が違う /東京

Recently, it became clear that severe bullying was behind the suicide of a second year junior high school student in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, last October.

Following the boy's death, the city board of education conducted a survey on all students at the school, to which 16 answered that bullies had "forced (the boy) to 'practice suicide,'" among other acts.

However, after questioning the suspected bullies and investigating other aspects of the case, city board of education officials concluded that "although it was confirmed that bullying in fact took place, we are unable to say that it had a causal link with the suicide."

In the past, too, the phrase, "We are unable to specify a cause-and-effect relationship," has often been used in suicide cases.

Workplace harassment, prolonged labor in severe conditions, bullying by superiors, domestic violence, and now school bullying have all been settled by saying that "the relationship between the (suggested) cause and the fatalities is unclear."

The aim behind surveys such as that conducted at the school in Otsu, however, is wrong from the start.

If the purpose of conducting the questionnaires is to find the cause of suicides, it's obvious that these attempts will end with officials saying, "We have been unable to determine the motive."

That is because the only person who can really confirm the motive is no longer alive.

As long as there is no one to point out the exact cause, and as long as the incident was not a scientific experiment where all conditions are rigorously controlled, it is extremely difficult to prove the relationship between a single cause and its effect.

For example, a person who is rejected for a job may think that the failure was because they spoke too quietly at the interview, but in fact there are many other possible reasons, including the content of the talk and the person's attitude, for example.

In this case, the only thing the person can do to confirm their theory is to ask the official in charge of the hiring directly whether it was their voice that prompted the rejection.

If they're unable to do so, no matter how much time they spend pondering why they were rejected, the answer is unknowable.

In the case of the boy's suicide, too, what should've been done was not searching for the cause of his death, looking for the guilty parties, or attempting to find out the relation between causes and the suicide.

What should have been done was to first admit that severe bullying had taken place, followed by concrete consideration of why the bullying happened, why it couldn't be prevented, and what measures must be taken against it from now on.

Still, I wonder why bullying hasn't disappeared from schools.

There should be some deeper reason that allows it to persist despite the establishment of measures such as "discussing the importance of life" or "enforcing severe penalties" for offenders.

I also believe that those who bully have very distorted minds and have themselves been pushed to the edge.

What is it that makes one want to bully others?

And why are those who are being bullied not seeking help?

This is a problem that requires further thought.

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2012年07月10日 地方版

by kiyoshimat | 2012-07-18 07:49 | 英字新聞

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