NOVA teachers fight ban on associating with students

OSAKA -- Teachers at major English conversation school NOVA asked lawyers on Friday for help in fighting school rules banning them from associating with students.

Under company rules, the Osaka-based NOVA requires foreign lecturers not to keep private company with students or to date them. In following this policy, NOVA has dismissed six teachers without making detailed investigations, according to documents submitted by lecturers to the Osaka Bar Association. American teacher Robert Bisom, 59, who belongs to a private labor union that helps foreign workers, says the rules infringe upon the nation's Constitution. NOVA insists that the dismissal of the teachers was justified because every foreign lecturer pledged to abide by the company's rules when signing an employment contract. "Teachers joined us after accepting the rules," a NOVA official said. "Their claim that we fire all teachers if they violate the rules is not correct." One of the six fired teachers filed a suit in December, asking the Osaka District Court to nullify NOVA's decision to sack him. (Compiled from Mainichi and wire stories, Feb. 28, 2003)


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