Teachers fired, suspended for protest

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Teachers fired, suspended for protest

Education Ministry said yesterday it would fire 14 of 89 teachers who are members of the Korean Teachers and Education Workers’ Union that waged an anti-government protest last year.

Forty-one other teachers will be suspended from work for one to three months and another teacher will have his pay cut, the ministry added.

“The disciplinary committees in 16 education offices across the country completed disciplinary measures against teachers who led the issuing of an [anti-government] statement,” an Education Ministry official said.

The fate of the remaining 33 teachers, including the union head Jeong Jin-hu, wasn’t finalized as Gyeonggi education chief Kim Sang-kon refused to approve disciplinary measures.

The official said Gwangju city and South and North Jeolla provinces completed disciplinary measures but they need approval of a superintendent.

The progressive teacher’s union released a statement last June saying the Lee Myung-bak administration has endangered democracy by conducting a massive crackdown on anti-government rallies. The teacher’s union lashed out at the ministry’s decision and argued that it infringes on the freedom of expression protected by the Constitution.

By Kim Mi-ju [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]

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