Cell video tests corporal punishment

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Cell video tests corporal punishment

A video clip capturing a middle school teacher’s brutal physical punishment of a teenage boy has spread quickly online, prompting the education board to launch an investigation.

The Seoul Gangseo District Office of Education said yesterday that a probe was launched into the incident captured on the clip, where a teacher brutally hit a student on his head and face.

The short video recording, no more than two minutes long, was posted on the Internet site of a middle school in Yangcheon District, stirring public anger, but has since been removed, Yonhap News Agency reported.

The education office said it has learned that the incident in the video clip took place during a class on Oct. 15 at the middle school. As the physical punishment got extremely severe, a classmate recorded the situation using a mobile phone, the office said.

The victim’s father had strongly complained to the school about the incident a few days later, and the teacher had been warned about the practice, a school official said. The father, however, took the case to the education office to demand action against the teacher.

“The father had settled the matter with the school right after the incident, but appeared to have changed his mind afterward,” an official from the education office was quoted as saying by Yonhap. “We will investigate the case to find out what exactly went on.”

Although the incident took place last month, before the ban on corporal punishment in Seoul schools was enforced, it will likely set a standard on how the education authorities will deal with physical punishments made by teachers.

Starting this month, corporal punishment is officially banned in all schools in Seoul as ordered by local education chief Kwak No-hyun.

By Ser Myo-ja [myoja@joongang.co.kr]
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