[EDITORIALS]Just teach facts, not politics

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[EDITORIALS]Just teach facts, not politics

The Korea Teachers and Educational Workers Union and a civil servants’ labor union declared their opposition against the impeachment of President Roh Moo-hyun. This is a clear political act, which is prohibited by the law regulating civil servants. The government should punish the teachers and civil servants involved.
The Board of Audit and Inspection is already investigating the Presidential Truth Commission on Suspicious Deaths, a governmental organization that recently issued a statement denouncing the impeachment. The collective political acts by civil servants clearly show that official discipline has collapsed.
In such a situation where even civil servants violate the law, how can the government control the illegal rallies by other civic groups?
Teachers, in particular, should not be politically active. Teachers can have a great impact on students, who are still immature and accept what their teachers say without proper judgment. If the teachers are engaged in biased teaching, students may believe and take these lessons to heart.
A class that teaches the purport and process of impeachment would be acceptable, but teachers’ remarks that oppose the impeachment or that support a particular party should never be allowed. Already, parents have lodged complaints against the teachers’ union, saying that the union teachers are infusing anti-impeachment ideas into their students.
Of the 380,000 teachers in Korea, only 90,000 belong to the Korea Teachers and Educational Workers Union. Teachers who belong to other associations or have no association must have their own political opinions regarding the impeachment, but they refrain from expressing their opinions because of their status as a teacher and the concern that they may represent a particular political group.
The union should not bring the social conflict into the classroom. Rather, its members should emphasize to students that the right thing to do is to wait for the Constitutional Court’s decision on the impeachment.
The election-related agenda planned by the union should be stopped as well. The teachers should not exploit their students as a political tool. They should just teach.
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