Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Violence in South Korean schools

Sung Hyun tells of times when he was punished by his teacher for not completing his homework. His punishment didn't come in the form of a phone call to mom much like we would expect in the West, but rather in a beating. Much like what you'll see in these videos below (and yes these are Korean students):

What's unfortunate is that incidents like these often go unreported. Reported incidents are often swept under the rug by the police. The Metropolitician who has witnessed such incidents describes best:

Korea’s instinct is to cover up, change the subject, point to “national shame”as a reason to silence everyone. Remember — in Korea, it’s not about guilt, it’s about shame — and how bad you look in public. That is more important than what was actually done. The parents dropping the charges is a case in point. Too much shame brought to the community, which overrides anything else.

(The Metropolitician, http://www.koreasparkle.com/2008/11/more-on-teachers-beating-students/#content)

More of what he has to say can be read by clicking here and checking his response in the comments section. He also describes of an incident where a student died because of teacher abuse. He was brought out of class and beaten hard, then forced to do laps around the school until he collapsed from exhaustion. Only to be followed by another round of beatings and laps which continued all afternoon. He was denied water and collapsed when he was allowed to go home. The official report -- HEART FAILURE!!!

A perfectly healthy, 17-year-old boy died of heart failure. I wonder why?
Dehydration and extreme physical and mental abuse? Naw. No charges were filed,
and the family tried to fight it, until they were intimidated into not doing so.

(The Metropolitician, http://www.koreasparkle.com/2008/11/more-on-teachers-beating-students/#content)

For more information check out The Hub of Sparkle!


ambearo said...

OMG That is so horrifying and disturbing. Did this happen recently? Do you know these people? Sorry, I'm a lurker and I just had to comment. I clicked on the video unknowingly, thinking it was a cute one of you or your boyfriend (sorry if that sounds creepy, I don't mean it to be) and then I totally shocked and appalled. (T T) Definitely not what I was expecting and it just makes me so angry for the students here. I hope that teacher got fired.

Andy said...

Yeah, it's pretty sad what happens in Korean schools. Not only the corporal punishment, but the physical and mental strain from all their "study".

Shelley said...

When I was teaching in Korea, I would sometimes complain that the students didn't always listen. The other Korean teachers just simply said "well you need to beat them to earn your respect."
Ah. No thanks. I was not going to beat my students. I'd find another way. I'd rather have to tell a student 10 times, throw them out of class, call their parents rather than beat them. I just wouldn't do it. And it broke my heart when the other teachers did it, or when a student told me about being beat at their schools by their teachers. It was just really sad.