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Her mother, Setsuko, lights another candle at her daughter's altar and says a prayer for her, as she does every day. She is convinced bullying at school was one of the main reasons Yumi killed herself. In the months preceding her suicide, Yumi told her mother she was being taunted by some of her classmates.
"I called the school and spoke to her teacher," she says. "The teacher said, 'I'll deal with this problem' and never got back to me, so we assumed it was solved."
investigating the cause of her suicide, hearing from her parents, collecting as much information as possible including the possibility of bullying." The school also spoke to students, but school officials found no information that connected to her suicide, they said. A recent court case ruled in the school's favor. Yumi's parents filed an appeal to a higher court on Monday.
Real-life 'mean girls'
Yumi hinted at bullying in the note she left behind, writing that her decision to take her life "may be because of some of my classmates, studies and exams."
But the parents are still fighting a legal battle with the school and the Kitamoto Board of Education. The family alleges the school was negligent in bully prevention and investigating her suicide. Shinji Nakai claims the school only showed him a fraction of the investigation they carried out -- a claim the board of education rejects.
In a statement to CNN, the Kitamoto Board of Education said it was "co-operative
The case has prompted the government to set up a special team to help schools and board of education curb bullying.
The new anti-bullying task force will be responsible for identifying cases of serious bullying at an early stage and giving advice to education boards and schools, said Hirofumi Hirano, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, at a press conference Tuesday.