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Board of Education member accused of groping high school girl

Date Posted: 2003-02-22

A member of the Okinawa Prefecture Board of Education was suspended for three months this week after a high school girl came forward and reported that he had entered her hotel room while on a school trip, groped her and tried to come to the same bed with her. She said that the man was obviously drunk at the time.

The incident took place in February a year ago, but the girl came forward with a protest to her school principal this past January. She said that she was so ashamed of the incident, she could not tell anyone at first. She also reportedly began having mental problems after the incident, and finally decided to confront the situation as a way to put her mental problems behind her.

A spokesman for the Board of Education refused to comment on the incident, citing the need to protect the girl’s privacy. He confirmed, however, that a board member had been suspended for three months for such behavior. “This board member has admitted that he behaved improperly, and he was suspended for three months. He has also sent a letter of apology and a present to the girl,” the spokesman said.

High school students claim that such incidents are far from uncommon, but say that normally the girls are too ashamed to report them. “She was really brave when she reported the incident,” a former female high school student said. “Normally girls are too ashamed to tell anyone, and try to forget instead,” she said.

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