6 years after rapes, gov’t forces closure

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6 years after rapes, gov’t forces closure

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In the aftermath of the box-office hit “Dogani,” depicting the true tale of sexual abuse in a school for hearing-impaired students, the Gwangju Metropolitan Office of Education determined Monday that it would force the Inhwa School to shut down.

Gwangju officials convened an emergency meeting to discuss measures against the school for disabled students and will require all 22 students to be transferred to another establishment soon.

It is the first time that a local government has revoked the accreditation of a social welfare foundation.

“The foundation of the Inhwa School fatally lacks social morals, neglecting the issue for years until now, and we concluded that the foundation can’t maintain its own initial purpose,” Song Gwi-geun, vice mayor of Gwangju, said at a press conference yesterday.

The film, titled “The Crucible” in English and based on a true story recounted in Gon Ji-young’s bestselling book, focused public attention on six Inhwa School officials and teachers who received minimal - in some cases no - legal repercussions for the serial rapes of students aged 7 to 20 from 2000 to 2005.

Two were put on probation, two received punishments of one and two years in prison, and the remaining two were not punished at all because the statute of limitations had been reached. School administrators reinstated one of the teachers in January 2008.

Kang Un-tae, mayor of Gwangju, told officials at the city government yesterday that the most important thing was to protect disabled people living at the school.

“The movie is a shameful portrait of our society and a painful lesson that we shouldn’t learn again,” Kang said. “The fact that Gwangju, a city of human rights, had this kind of incident shocked me.”

Song said he expects the Inhwa School to file a lawsuit in response to the city government’s demands.


By Kim Hee-jin [heejin@joongang.co.kr]


한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]

인화학교 법인 허가 취소

광주시, 폐교 이은 후속 조치
법인 재산, 국가·지자체 환수

광주광역시 청각장애 특수학교인 인화학교 학생에 대한 성폭력 사건을 다룬 영화 ‘도가니’의 후폭풍이 거세다. 사건이 일어난 인화학교 폐교에 이어 학교를 운영하는 사회복지법인에 대한 설립 허가 취소가 결정됐다.

 행정기관이 사회복지법인의 설립 허가를 취소한 것은 이번이 처음이다. 송귀근 광주시 행정부시장은 “우석법인은 성폭행 가담자 복직과 재발 방지를 등한시해 공익을 해치고 사회적 물의를 일으켰다”며 “사회복지법인으로서 본래의 목적 달성이 불가능해 설립 허가를 취소하기로 했다”고 4일 밝혔다. 광주시는 시청·교육청·광산구청·인화학교성폭력대책위·변호사·대학교수 등 15명이 참석한 가운데 대책회의를 열고 이같이 결정했다. 광주시가 우석법인과 법원 등 2곳에 허가 취소 공문을 보내면 법원에서 법인에 대한 청산 절차를 밟게 된다. 허가가 취소되면 법인 재산은 국가나 지방자치단체에 귀속된다.

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