중앙데일리

Anyang murders have parents pushing back

Mar 31,2008
Members of Songpa District’s “Tiger Grandfathers” in Seoul, formed by elderly volunteers to prevent crimes in the neighborhood, guide children on their way home Thursday. By Ahn Seong-sik

Protective sirens, mobile phones with GPS beacons and neighborhood watches ― these are some of the techniques being used by parents who fear for their children’s safety after the gruesome Christmas slayings of two Anyang schoolgirls.
Jeong Jin-yeong, the 39-year-old mother of a fifth grader, recently added a new routine to her weekly schedule. She drives to an English-language tutoring institute twice a week to drop off and pick up her daughter. The daughter’s two friends from her neighborhood in Imae-dong, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, ride too.
Jeong and her neighbors agreed to take turns driving their children to and from the institute. “Three mothers take turns so it’s not that time consuming,” Jeong said. “I also get to know my neighbors better, so this feels much safer.”
Jeong and her neighbors are not alone. More and more parents are forming neighborhood networks to protect their children, and volunteers have begun patrolling school zones.
The Green Mothers Association of the Ogum Elementary School in Seoul said they started an after-school monitoring program in early March to see that students get home safely. The association said its members were already guiding students on their way to school, but they expanded the service to the afternoon. At the end of each school day, two mothers patrol the 200-meter radius around the school protecting children from possible kidnappings and other crimes.
“Since the Anyang murders, we have became much more concerned. We learned from media reports that child sex crimes often take place from 2 to 4 p.m. within a 100-meter-radius of a school,” Lee Hye-suk, a 42-year-old teacher at Ogum Elementary said. “So mothers volunteered to patrol the school zone.”
Parents at Myeonghak Elementary School in Anyang, Gyeonggi, are perhaps the most concerned. The two victims of the Christmas slayings, Lee Hye-jin, 10, and Wu Ye-seul, 8, used to attend the school.


By Park Yu-mi JoongAng Ilbo/ Ser Myo-ja Staff Reporter



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