[Letters] The tragedy of teen suicide
According to recent statistics, suicide is ranked as the second-highest cause of teenagers’ deaths in Korea, accounting for 30 percent of all teenage deaths. This is higher than the OECD average. Nowadays, many teenagers commit suicide because they are under a lot of stress from the university entrance examination, family troubles, school troubles and so on.
Teenage suicide must be prevented because teens are the future of our nation. At the same time, considering the time and resources invested in teens, their suicides are a serious waste. Parents invest money and time into their children. If their child commits suicide, this investment is lost in an instant.
For a parent, losing a child is same as losing the world. A suicide can cause considerable mental harm for family members, friends and relatives. Some families are destroyed because of teenager’s suicide. Such a situation can lead to other suicides. If someone experiences the suicide of a friend when they are a teenager, there is a higher possibility of them imitating that death. In fact, some middle school students have attempted joint suicides.
The government should admit it has a responsibility for this issue. Its college entrance examination is one of the leading causes of teen suicide. The Ministry of Education talks of changing the entrance examination every year, giving more cause for worry among anxious students.
Education on suicide prevention is also poor; so poor, in fact, that when I was a high school student I received no such education. The government does not understand a teenager’s life. It shows no concern for teenagers’ problems.
On the other hand, some say that everybody has freedom. Therefore, suicide is a teenager’s right. Also, they argue that the suicide is a private matter that the government has no business being involved in.
However, Confucius taught that our parents gave us our body and keeping our body intact is a sign of loyalty and obedience. Teenage suicide is not a private matter. The government has much responsibility for teenage suicides. It must take action to prevent the unnecessary waste of young lives. Kim Ki-seob, Dongguk University student