possibly irradiating children as they planted flowers as part of school curriculum.
Ever since the March 11 start of the Fukushima I Nuke Plant accident, unthinking, order-following school teachers and administrators throughout Japan from kindergarten/nursery school on (with a few exceptions) have made small children:
pick tea leaves which turned out to be highly radioactive (in one case in Ibaraki, they made them eat the tempura made out of the leaves);
participate in outdoor PE classes with the threat that they wouldn't get good grades if they (or their parents) refuse;
clean the school yard, pulling weeds and sweeping;
clean out the swimming pools with sludges which turned out to be highly radioactive;
plant rice seedlings in rice paddies with bare feet (this was done throughout Japan, high radiation or not);
eat school lunches using beef which turned out to be highly radioactive, despite protests from informed parents and labeling such parents as "monsters" for causing totally unwarranted fuss;
go to summer schools located in high radiation areas.
Now the latest: they made them plant flowers using the leaf compost which turned out to be highly radioactive.
As journalist Takashi Hirose said, they are "killing the children".
First, from Shinano Mainichi Shinbun (local paper in Nagano Prefecture, 8/2/2011):
The leaf compost that may contain high concentration of radioactive materials have been sold in the Prefecture. On July 31, it was discovered that one elementary school and one junior high school used the total of 40 bags (14 liters per bag) of the compost. According to the Prefecture's agricultural division, the schools used it in planters to grow flowers. The division says it has instructed the schools to move the planters away from school children.
The schools contacted the Prefecture for advice on July 29. The names of the schools haven't been disclosed.
The compost was sold at at Cainz Home's 14 stores in Nagano Prefecture. According to the agricultural division of the Prefecture, the elementary school purchased 10 bags in late June and mixed it with potting soil to grow chrysanthemums in planters. The junior high school used 30 to 40 bags to grow flowers.
14,800 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium have been detected from this compost, as tested by Tottori Prefecture. According to Cainz, 13,000 bags of the same compost had been sold in Nagano since the March 11 earthquake until July 27, when the company voluntarily stopped selling.
And from Shikoku Shinbun (local paper in Kagawa Prefecture in Shikoku, 8/1/2011):
Concerning the radioactive leaf compost made in Tochigi Prefecture that was used in the schools' cultivation classes at 3 elementary schools in Kagawa Prefecture, one of the schools, Showa Elementary School in Ayagawa-cho (Principal Masanori Nakatsuka) held a meeting with the parents on July 31 night. The school listened to the parents and decided to discard the leaf compost. After the meeting, teachers and school administrators contacted all parents by email and phone calls.
35 parents attended the meeting, in which Principal Nakatsuka and Kazunori Sugimura, head of the town's Board of Education explained the situation.
They said, "We want to apologize for having caused you much anxiety. If there is one parent who wants to have [the compost] discarded, we will."
Then, the principal explained what the school's cultivation class was, and how the school became aware of the problem [of the radioactive compost]. He also reported that 400 planters that used the leaf compost had been moved to a location that morning and the school cordoned off the place.
In Q&A session, parents said "We still worry even if you say there is no effect on health", and "It will be educational if we dispose it properly, and explain to our children at home and at school". The principal promised to dispose the leaf compost.
The principle also said, "We will try our best to care for the psychological effect on children who have been growing chrysanthemum with great care. We will consult the prefectural government on the disposal." 179 pupils in 3rd to 6th grades planted chrysanthemums in the planters, using the compost.
Shikoku Shinbun reports that the prefectural government received only 4 inquiries from the residents on July 31.
Well, Mr. Nakatsuka, before you care for the psychological ill-effect, why don't you apologize to the pupils for having exposed them to physical ill-effect - radiation?