President addresses school violence

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President addresses school violence

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President Lee Myung-bak said yesterday that he “feels remorse” for rampant violence and bullying at schools after a middle-school victim took his own life last month, setting off alarm bells on the level of school violence throughout the country.

“I think we don’t seem to have much understanding of the world of our children, while focusing on the entrance examination system and costs of private education,” Lee told a group of school superintendents, saying, “I feel remorse as president.”

Lee called the suicide of the 14-year-old victim an “enormous tragedy” and urged teachers, parents and the government to work together to combat bullying and violence at schools.

The victim in Daegu jumped off an apartment building to his death and left a suicide note saying he was brutally bullied by his classmates for months. Two alleged offenders were arrested late last month.

Police and the Education Ministry have vowed to combat bullying and violence by working together to collect information on bullies and protecting victims.

In a recent survey of 1,140 middle and high school students in the Seoul and Gyeonggi area, 48 percent of the respondents said they were victimized by school violence for the past one year, while 42.3 percent said they have thought of committing suicide within the past week. Yonhap

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