Homeroom teachers and teachers on student guidance committees have been responsible for addressing bullying, school refusal, juvenile delinquency and other problems. Since 1995, school counselors have been deployed to schools to help the teachers.
Bullying often occurs among classmates and members of extracurricular clubs. The Act for the Promotion of Measures to Prevent Bullying was enacted in 2013 after the suicide of 13-year-old boy who had been bullied by his classmates. This law obligates each school to establish a basic policy to prevent bullying and establish an in-house organ to deal with the problem. Almost all schools have been preparing questionnaires and gathering answers about bullying several times a year in order to find bullying cases in an early stage.
The number of the students with school refusal has increased rapidly since the 1980s, and school refusal became a nationwide school problem. In the 2016-17 school year, one out of every 213 elementary school students and one out of every 33 middle school students had school refusal. The majority of the causes are related to school problems such as bullying and poor academic performance. Schools have developed a support team of parents, homeroom teachers, nurse teachers, school counselors, and medical doctors to work with students with school refusal so that they can return to school.
There were 56,000 reported violence cases by students under school management in elementary through high schools (4.2 cases per 1,000 students): 51% in middle schools, 38% in elementary schools, and 11% in high schools in the 2016-17 school year. The rate of violent actions by elementary school students was 3.5 cases per 1,000 students and it was the highest since the record-keeping for such cases had started in the SY1997-98. The rate was 0.2 cases per 1,000 students then. The majority of school violence is fights among students.
The number of 14-19 year-olds in protective custody for juvenile crimes declined to one third from 124,000 (15.9 cases per 1,000 students) in 2005 to 39,000 (5.5 cases per 1,000 students) in 2015. The majority of juvenile crimes is theft.