Oddly enough

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Pindown therapy: A junior high school teacher apologised to her students in Tokyo for putting pins in their shoes. She was trying to discourage them from crushing down the backs of their shoes, a form of behaviour interpreted as a mild form of rebellion against authority. After one child was slightly injured by the pins, the teacher acknowledged that her disciplinary tactic had been excessive.

Child crime: In Pensacola, Florida, Chaquita Doman faces a felony charge of "battery of an elected official or educator". Chaquita is five years old and is alleged to have gone into a rage and bitten and scratched a kindergarten support teacher. After an arrest warrant was issued, she was fingerprinted and then released into the custody of her parents. Her father described the arrest as the most ludicrous thing he had ever experienced: "There are other methods you could have went through before this," he said, ungrammatically.

Waiving the flag: The Fukuoka District Court in Japan ruled that education authorities were correct in reprimanding a teacher who had joined students in refusing to sing "Kimigayo", the de facto Japanese national anthem, at a graduation ceremony. Ryuichiro Inoue, 45, had also protested at the school principal's refusal to hoist their hand-made flag portraying a copy of Picasso's Guernica in place of the Japanese flag. He took the school to court on the grounds that neither the anthem nor the flag is a legally formalised symbol of Japan. The court, however, ruled that in deciding to reprimand the teacher, the municipal board of education "cannot be said to have remarkably lacked propriety in the light of common sense."