Ex-student awarded damages over Japan high school rule that banned dating

Kyodo News

Posted at Nov 30 2022 04:58 PM

TOKYO –– A Japanese court on Wednesday awarded 970,000 yen (around P395,000) in damages to a woman who left a Tokyo high school after being admonished by its principal to do so in 2019 for violating a school rule that banned dating by its students.

The Tokyo District Court ruled the admonishment by Horikoshi high school was unlawful, saying it was beyond educational discretion and it effectively forced the woman to drop out of school. However, it also ruled the regulation itself was valid.

"Considering the school's educational ideals and policies, the rule is reasonable in the context of social standards as a rule for making students focus on studies by banning dating," said Presiding Judge Kazuhiro Murata in handing down the ruling.

The woman had sought roughly 7 million yen in damages from Horikoshi Gakuen, the operator of the high school, claiming it was unlawful for the school to urge her to voluntarily drop out. She also said the school regulation was unreasonable and claimed mental distress for being repeatedly questioned by teachers whether she had had sexual intercourse.

On Nov. 20, 2019, the woman, who was then a third-year student, admitted in an interview with a teacher that she was going out with a male student. Two days later, she was urged by the principal to leave the school for violating the school rule.

The school said the rule was reasonable and the principal was entitled to make the decision.