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Father sets fire to self, wife and daughter over his son’s grades

Apr 13,2005
Anxiety over academic performance was cited as a motivating factor in two suicide cases early this week, one of them a triple fatality.
Police said a father in South Chungcheong province set fire to himself, his wife and his 15-year-old daughter Tuesday morning, killing all three. The man blamed his 18-year-old son, who escaped the blaze, for disgracing the family with his inadequate high school grades.
Police said the man drove his family to the son’s high school in the town of Gongju before dawn, parked in front of the school and set fire to the inside of the car, after spilling gasoline. Before starting the blaze, he said that any of them could leave if they wanted to, but only the son got out, the boy told police.
The son had been an honor student in middle school, but his grades slipped as he tried to adjust to high school, police said.
On Sunday, between midnight and 2 a.m., an 18-year-old Seoul Science High School student jumped to his death from his family’s 7th-floor apartment in the Nowon area of Seoul.
A former student council president, he had become stressed since failing to get into the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology with most of his classmates, friends said.
Police said the student sent cell phone text messages to friends around midnight, and may have jumped soon afterward.


by Jeong Kang-hyun, Kim Bang-hyeon


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