[Letters] Show bullies the way of good characterThe government announced a comprehensive plan to eradicate school violence in February, but since then a series of suicide cases have occurred as a result of school violence and bullying. Thankfully, some of those victims who had remained silent have begun to seek help and dial the school violence hotline. The hotline has received 183 times the number of calls when compared to the same period last year, from 77 to 14,118 cases.
Bullies should be separated from victims, and their offenses should be recorded in school transcripts. Care and support should also be provided for victims of bullying. However, we also need education of character. An increase in the amount of physical education and sports in schools may be a way to do so. Students could relieve stress and learn cooperation and consideration through team play.
We need to approach character education from the perspective that it cannot be learned but that it should be practiced. The curriculum includes ethics courses, but the students still bully. Another way to reinforce good character is to promote activities like student government and peer counseling. Schools should encourage students to think about their own problems and seek resolutions by themselves.
Good character also comes from within. What the community desperately needs are not just students that are intelligent but those who are considerate, respectful and value communication and harmony.
Lee Dae-young, deputy superintendent of the Seoul Education Office
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with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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