15-3 School Searches and Seizure in Japan

                 School Searches and Seizure in the U. S.
There are very few regulations and guideline of School Searches and Seizure in Japan and also
no Searches by Metal Detector Machines or by Drug-Sniffing Dogs.
There are sometimes Locker Searches and Vehicle Searches in Japanese schools, however, there
are very Srtip Searches.They must say they are fortunate, but there are some problems, too.
1. A case of stealing in classroom
If there would be money or something from a classroom stolen in Japan, the home-room teacher
would explain the situation about it to all the students and would say, " I think some of you might
have acted from impulse and might have committed a theft, so I will advise to him / her to return
it befor ...... time at......place, secretly."
And even if the stolen money or something is not found, the home-room teacher will tell them,"
Put all your possessions on the desk."

It is an ordinary way of School Searches in a Japanese classroom, so sometime it is not a
thorough school search and might fail to find a real criminal. And strange to say, the victimised
student would not complain about such an end so strictly, and also the action of his or her parents
might be the same. That is the reason why Japanese school officials, students and parents will put
more value on "Friendship among classmate" than the fact of stolen money or something.

And the end of this happening, the home-room teacher will say severely, " I am very sad there are
dishonest students in our class now."
Of course, if there would not be the consent from the victimised student, or if school officials
would think it to be a very bad case of stealing, there would be a strip search or some other way in
the classroom.
2. Urine Testing in Japan
Urine Testing in Japanese schools is much different from other countries, for it is a kind of duty
for the students to submit their urine to school officials for the check of their health conditions at
the beginning of the school year. Of course, it is not for drug-testing, but for their health checks,
such as finding sugar diabets or some others.
But, as I described before, in the U.S. there are some court decisions such as this policy to be "
An attept to control student discipline under the guise of a medical procedure."

In Japan, there is a kind of educational philosophy that school authorities have the resposibility to
keep good health of students with their parents, and they think it connected with keeping a good
school environment, too. Is it good or bad? Is it permissible to protect students from growing drug-
use or not permissible for the privacy of students and parents? It is a difficult problem, but I would
think the former like the Japanese system is better than the latter.
3. Trustful of each other
As I described now, Japanese people have always been standing on the ground of belief that
teachers, students and parents are trusted of each other, and if necessary, there are sometimes
school searches and seizure on the ground. However recently, some difficult problems have
happened in Japanese schools, and then some strict opions are sometimes given to Japanese
school education system. For instance, they are so isolated from the real society and are not
effective to solve some difficult problems.

In fact, there are increasing drug problems, dangerous knife problem, bullying and some bad cases
among students, and school officials cannot face them effectively by themselves. Certainly they have
to co-operate more with some other officials beside them.

I think the drug-problem is the most important one to face students in the future in Japan, so
after now, I will describe about it and will survey the circumstances of education in Japan.
4. Juvenile delinquncy    Reported by the Police Agency ( 1996 )
* Juvenile criminal....... 2 % increase, compared with 1995
* Drug-using ................ High increase of high school students. About 2.3 times, compared with 1995
               And consciousness of sin agaist drugs is becoming weak among younger  
               people.and they think it is a kind of fashion. There ar such affirmative
               opinions as " Feel comfortable", " Diet ", " Awoken from my sleep" and
               " My freedom".
* Burglary, Threat........ High increase of high school students.
5. Counter measure: How to cope with the situation
Verdict by the Central Education Committee ( In June, 1998 )
a. School officials have to teach students how dangerous and how harmful drug-using is in their
  lessons;Physical training & Culture, Health & Physical education, Morality and Special curriculum
  activities more effectively.
  Professional people such as policemen, former-officers of drug-control doctors. druggist and
  the staff who have been working with the rehabilitation of drug addicts have to teach the studtens
  regulary in classrooms.

b. Co-operation with Police Station and Child Welfare Offce.
  School officials more and had better to aske them to come to schools regulary or temporary.
  School officials have ot explain the circumstances of the schools to parents and citizens
  beforehand and if a probem happened, they should face it at once.
Report by the Committee, aboved in Sept. 1998
 * School Councilors
   In addition to P.T.A. school boards have to organize School Councilors at all schools, and the
  members are scholars, representatives of the authorities concerned , representatives of the
  youth groups and parents. Pricipals will recomentd them and school boards will entrust them
  with some special matters.  They will advise school officials to face the difficult problems for
  the schools.
Juvenile Support Center: Planning by Police Agency,1998
" We will establish a Juvenile Support Center, organized with guidances, professional councilors
and some special staff in each prefecture in Japan."
【Comment】 I will agree with this planning above-mentioned. In tradition, Japanese people have
        respected school officials untill now and they have been very trustful of them. It is
        certainly the good point of Japanese education, but sometimes good point will be a
        bad point, too. Surely, Japanese school officials are so lsolated from real society that
        they say, "It is like a kind of closed school society". So, it is very difficult to know how to
        change Japanese schools to be much better while keeping good Japanese tradition.
        But, as difficult as there are, Japanese educators will achieve it in the future.
Described in November 1998