According to the victim's mother and the school, a reinvestigation committee set up by the school has determined the boy suffered acts of physical violence inflicted by several students. It added the school should recognize that using a cigarette to leave burns was an act of bullying, and it "defied common sense" to think that leaving 22 burns on the victim's arm was acceptable.
The school admitted it had been "inconsiderate" to ask the bullied student to voluntarily leave before it had fully grasped the extent of the bullying. School officials apologized to him and his family Saturday night.
"We'll carefully instruct our students so such incidents never happen again," the vice principal told The Yomiuri Shimbun.
The victim's mother said the problem had moved a step toward resolution, but criticized the school for being "rather slow" to act on the matter.
The student also said the school seemed to have offered "a token apology."
According to the mother and other sources, the student had been beaten and kicked by three students from November onward and was burned with cigarettes 22 times by another student in May.
The school investigated the case and ordered the four assailants to voluntarily leave school or stay home. It also asked the bullied student to voluntarily leave the school because his scars might "cause anxiety among other students."
His family submitted a report on the offenses to Sendai Higashi Police Station on Aug. 6.
Source: Yomiuri Shimbun
OP note: Despite the growing awareness of bullying, it seems Japanese school officials have an almost unbearably long way to go.