[CARD NEWS] A principal and his students’ debate over Park’s impeachment
탄핵 놓고 한판 겨룬 교장선생님과 학생들, 훈화인가 토론인가
A principal and his students’ debate over Park’s impeachment
Is this just a principal’s lesson or a controversial debate?
1) ‘Impeachment of President Park Geun-hye’
The principal and students of Seoul Digitech High School had a discussion on this heavy issue.
2) It is rare to see students and teachers – especially a principal – arguing over a political issue in Korea.
3) “The impeachment process of the president is unjust.”
“In Korea, public opinion reigns over the law.”
Principal Kwak Il-chun poured out all of his thoughts on the impeachment.
4) “We need to be strict, whether the president is guilty or innocent.”
“Once she is sentenced as guilty, that’s the reason for the impeachment.”
Kwak criticized the National Assembly for passing the impeachment motion
solely based on broadcasted circumstantial evidence before the trial was decided.
5) Students’ thoughts were different, however.
“We consider the impeachment truth and justice.”
Handing over a microphone to each other, students clearly made their positions.
6) Students: “Your argument that ‘why do we have to impeach a president whose tenure is almost over?’ is wrong.”
Principal Kwak: “Justice can be done not just through the impeachment.
Judgment can be done in another way when her term is over, which is more beneficial to society.”
7) Students: “Teachers should keep a neutral stance on politics, but you are inclined to right-wing views now.”
Principal Kwak: “My point is, first, let’s check what the facts are.
Second, let’s comply with constitutionalism, not the rulings of public opinion."
8) “We better have properly balanced viewpoints rather than having the narrow idea that ‘my opinion is everything.’”
Principal Kwak eventually wrapped up the debate, insisting that he did not intend to violate the political neutrality of education.
9) “He tried to just project his specific opinions, overusing his status as principal.”
– Kim Yoo-hwan (pseudonym, 17)
“Just accepting a few questions at the end cannot make it a debate. Rather, it was a typical lesson.”_ Seo Eun-woo (pseudonym, 17)
The students, however, did not even know the talks were debate.
10) “He often used to make conservative remarks, such as openly criticizing the Democratic Party.
He once uttered that pro-North Korean forces will destroy the nation’s system.”
– Kim Yoo-hwan (pseudonym, 17)
According to the students, the principal has made political comments during monthly morning assemblies.
11) In the past, spoken lessons from principals were one of the ways of
instilling tyrannical military ideology and politics within students.
12) This type of indoctrinating education might be the reason why we are unfamiliar with transitions and weak at generating creative ideas.
13) Once political neutrality in education falters, students’ thoughts are stiffened as well.
14) The idealization of North Korea by some teachers in the Korean Teachers and Educational Workers’ Union in the past distorted some points of views in our society.
15) We understand the patriotism of principal Kwak.
However, education which forces students to accept one interpretation of the subject
does not fit with our students anymore.
16) Fortunately, our students, who clearly expressed their opinions despite the tough circumstances,prove that Korea is changing in a positive way.
Directed by Lee Jeong-bong
Constructed by Kim Min-pyo
Designed by Seo Ye-ri
Translated by Son Min-young
Edited by James Constant