April 26, 2011
Fukushima Prefecture has suffered from the four pillar of the devastating disaster: not only the aftermath of the earthquake and the tsunami but also the nuclear power plant accident and the harmful rumor of radiation leak.
Fukushima Prefectural School for the Deaf (73 students from the preschool through high school) is located in Koriyama City with its three branch schools in Fukushima City, Aizuwakamastu City and Iwaki City that offer the preschool and elementary program.
In the prefecture school, the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred at 14:46, Friday, March 11. At that time the admission examination to high school was administrated and all the high school students were absent, except 30 young children who were about to go home.
For a few minutes after the emergency announcement to stand by, one of the teachers shouted, "Be advised quickly!" as the roaring noise of the earthquake was heard.
All the children were gathered in the schoolyard while the aftershock continued, and warmed themselves in the school bus, waiting for the parent to pick up. A teacher had lost mother in Soma City because of the tsunami.
On Saturday, April 12, the school accepted the evacuees by the nuclear power plant accident from the Soma and Futaba Cities upon the request of the prefecture education board. They came to the school the next day. That time the largest number of the evacuees was 128. All the staff received them with sincerity. Four groups cooked to offer them three meals a day.
The evacuees were moved to other accommodations in Koriyama City on Wednesday, April 13. Meanwhile the graduation ceremony took place in the Principal's office. A girl who graduated from the elementary school went to Miyazaki Prefecture Miyakonojo Support School for the Deaf in the southern island of Japan.
All the staff put everything back in order by Friday, April 15. The children with the disabilities were welcome as their school building was completely destructed. The new student welcome event and the entrance ceremony were held on April 18.
There a little radiation is admitted and aftershocks still continue, but the children are happily spending hours on school activities. Caring for their mental health is conducted carefully and systematically. We hope to have a counselor who is fluent in sign language if possible.
Only the beam fell down in the faculty's office of the Fukushima Branch School for the Deaf located in the inland where 17 young children attend. The new student welcome event and the entrance ceremony were executed as scheduled on April 6.
The Aizu Branch School for the Deaf also in the inland which no damage was reported, executed the new student welcome event and the entrance ceremony on Wednesday, April 6. Three boys are cheerful as ever.
The building, etc. of Taira Branch School for the Deaf located in Iwaki City on the Pacific coast were damaged. Thirteen young children joined the new student welcome event and the entrance ceremony on Friday, April 15
Three children have evacuated to Sapporo School for the Deaf in Hokkaido, Gunma Prefecture and Tokyo respectively. One of the teachers lost his house by the tsunami, and also other lost one, the first floor of the house was flooded.