I’ve seen quite a few people pointing to this Reuters story, but I was a bit disappointed at the lack of detail so I found another story from a different source to compare. I’ve posted the original story, and the translation (from Asahi newspaper) below it.
Japanese boy writes apology in blood
TOKYO, Japan (Reuters)—A Japanese teenager was forced by his teacher to write an apology in blood after dozing in the classroom, the school’s principal said on Monday.
The teacher later went to high school principal Hiroaki Dan and confessed what he had done, Dan told Reuters.
The teacher had apologized to the 17-year-old boy and his parents, Dan said, confirming a local media report of the incident, which happened last Thursday.
He said the boy was taken to the staff room of the school in Fukuoka City, southern Japan, after being caught asleep during a lesson. The 40-year-old male teacher handed the boy a box-cutter and paper and told him to write an apology in blood.
The teacher left the student, who then cut his finger and began to write an apology using his own blood.
Other teachers in the staff room did not notice what was happening, Dan said.
“To ask a student to write in their own blood is something I just can’t imagine,” he said.
He said the boy was back in school, and neither he nor his parents had asked to switch teachers. The teacher involved is expected to resume classes in a few days, Dan said.
The incident comes on the heels of an attack in which an 11-year-old girl killed a classmate by slashing her throat with a box cutter, also in southern Japan.
Sleeping student at a highschool in Fukuoka made to cut his finger and write ‘reflection letter’ in blood
It was discovered on the 18th that at Fukushou public highschool in Fukuoka City, Minami district (Principal: Hiroaki Dan, 971 students), a student caught sleeping in class was handed a cutter-knife[note: probably something like an x-acto knife] by a male teacher in his 40’s and told to write a ‘reflection letter’ with blood from his finger. Later in the day, the principal, head teacher and the student’s homeroom teacher[literally ‘responsible teacher,’ which is as the name implies a position with more responsibility to the students than a homeroom teacher in the US], along with the class teacher, went to see the student’s guardian and apologized for the event.
According to people from the same school, at about 3pm on the 17th, this teacher called to the teacher’s office a male student who had been trying to sleep during his class. The teacher warned him ‘If you’re going to sleep, then go to the nurse’s office,’ but as the student’s expression showed no remorse, he handed him a B4 sized sheet of paper and a cutter knife and told him to ‘write with blood, not pencil,’ urging him to use the knife to cut his finger, and then write a reflection letter with that blood.
After that, the teacher went to another office to do some other job, and when he returned a few minutes later the student had cut his right index finger with the knife and written a reflection statement in blood. Apparently the teacher then tried to change his story, saying that the student was supposed to write in pencil after all. The school’s explanation is that ‘He truly did not think that the student was going to write in blood.’
Principal Dan gave the following statement to Asahi Newspaper: ‘I think that he was trying to get across the feelings that he has as a teacher, giving his earnet guidance, but it was inappropriate. Even despite the recent incident in Sasebo in which a knife was used [referring to the incident just a couple of weeks ago in which an 11 year old girl murdered a classmate for no apparent reason] for a teacher his guidance was most inadequate.’
When a relatively minor incident like this gets picked up by an international wire service it’s very rare for a second article from another source to be translated as well, so I thought it would be interesting to give people the opportunity to make a comparison. I’ll check again later and see if there have been any more recent articles with more information.