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Teacher’s mask remark causes student in Japan distress after family takes virus test

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mainichi– A high school teacher in the western Japan prefecture of Mie has been served a written warning from the prefectural education board after they hurt the feelings of a student whose family had undergone coronavirus tests by saying, “I’ll put on a mask because you’ve come here.”

The educator, who is in their 40s and employed at a public high school, reportedly shocked the student with their remarks, and led them to being absent from school for around a week due to feelings of distrust.

According to the Mie Prefectural Board of Education, the teacher was in a staff room meeting with the third-year student to discuss their options after high school on the morning of Oct. 2 when they reportedly made the comments in the knowledge that the pupil’s family had undergone polymerase chain reaction tests.

On that night, the school learned of the incident when the student’s guardians contacted them via the local board of education. The teacher is reported to have offered explanations to the student’s guardians, including, “I don’t remember saying those things.”

In an interview with the prefectural education board, the teacher reportedly said, “It’s not the case that I made the remarks with the student’s family in mind, and just before then I had not been wearing a mask, so I said it without thinking.”

(Japanese original by Go Taniguchi, Tsu Bureau)