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University teachers accused of harassment, unethical actions

Date Posted: 2009-06-18

Students at Okinawa Prefecture University have accused faculty members of harassment and “using prefecture money for private gains,” but an internal investigation suggests the allegations are unfounded.

The University’s Performing Arts president says he’d been receiving letters from students charging teachers “are selling consumption articles like books, notebooks, pens, papers and so on”. More than 80 such letters were received, saysTokumasa Miyagi, leading to an investigation. “We have to clean up everything and resolve the problem with everybody,” Miyagi says, since the letters had been sent to the university, the board of Education, Okinawa Prefecture Police and the mass media since last December.

The study money was being used for private use, according to the students’ letters, but a teacher named in the letters counters “we needed to sign to get the money from the university, so how could we get the money without signing for it?” The university president says “we’ve done an investigation of both teachers and students, but we haven’t found the things the letters said.”

Officials say they’re now unsure of who’s right, and who’s not, but are pledging to work harder to develop trust and a relationship between teachers and students. The school president adds that improvements must involve explanations to the public, and working together.

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