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Uruma City School Board apologizes for a child’s 2004 classroom death

Date Posted: 2007-04-06

The schools superintendent at Uruma City has finally acknowledged school complicity in the 2004 death of a youngster who died after being struck by a television set.

The accident occurred at Ikei Elementary and Junior High School nearly three years ago, killing the nine-year-old boy. The boy collided with a television stand while jostling in the classroom, and the television toppled onto him, killing him.

The bereaved mother, distraught at the school’s attitude which made the accident all her son’s fault, took the case to court, suing Uruma City for restoration of her son’s honor. Last Friday, the court agreed the school board was guilty of duplicity in the case.

Superintendent of Schools Mr. Zenmon conceded that the true fault in the accident that crushed the third grade student was actually a safety violation in the way the television was set on the mobile stand. “The management of safety was not enough in a classroom where the most safety must be in place”, he told the mother after the Naha District Court ruling.

He apologized for the safety violation not being included in the accident report filed after the incident.

The school’s version of the accident blamed the student for running in the classroom, striking the television stand and causing the television to fall. Zenmon said “I should have been earnest to the mother when she first demanded the search for truth in the cause of the accident.” Zenmon admitted his fault, saying he “regretted bringing disgrace on the boy by the news reports,” and said “Such an accident must never occur again.”

The school superintendent promised the mother, and the court, “there is going to be more thorough safety management in the schools now.”

The mother said it was about time for the apology, and wondered” why it was not conceded from the very beginning that the accident was in no way her child’s fault. “My son will never come back again,” she told the court, “and I can’t tell him ‘your honor has been regained.’ I feel something like this cannot be expressed in words.”

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