중앙데일리

Cell camera films abuse of 1st-grade students

June 27,2006
An elementary school teacher in Gunsan, North Jeolla province, was caught by a parent’s cell phone camera while she was slapping the faces of two first-grade students in her classroom.
The video clip was made on June 21 by a parent who was apparently passing by a classroom window, witnessed the beginning of the incident and then filmed it.
In the one-minute clip, the teacher is shown slapping the face of a boy and then throwing a book at his face. She then slapped a girl in the face and pushed her back by her shoulder. The girl rubbed her face and hung her head.
The clip is now widely available on Web portal sites, personal weblogs and the Web sites of education offices and the Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union.
The JoongAng Ilbo interviewed the teacher, 53, but did not identify her. She first denied having hit the students, but then admitted it after being shown the clip.
She told the newspaper, “I disciplined them because they did not take notes properly. I was just trying to teach them well, and I am sorry for causing trouble.”
That wasn’t enough of an apology for many parents whose children attend the school. One said angrily, “It is not acceptable to beat the faces of first-grade students, who started going to school only four months ago.”
Education laws revised in 1998 allow corporal punishment in schools only when it is “inevitable.” An Education Ministry official said that about half of Korean schools have enacted guidelines forbidding corporal punishment entirely.
But incidents continue to crop up in news reports after being captured digitally by cell phone cameras or after calls to police to report alleged abuse.
Neither is the problem one-sided; occasional incidents have also been reported of violence or verbal abuse aimed at teachers by parents or older students.
One group of angry Internet users began an online signature-collecting campaign to have the teacher fired and an investigation on charges of child abuse begun.
One wrote, “I used to agree with corporal punishment, but now I am afraid of sending my children to school.” The Gunsan Education Office said yesterday that the teacher had been suspended and would face a disciplinary committee hearing.


by Lee Chul-jae, Kim Soe-jung


dictionary dictionary | 프린트 메일로보내기 내블로그에 저장