School heads reported for not detailing kids’ violence

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School heads reported for not detailing kids’ violence

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has accused three superintendents of education and officials in local education offices of not following the ministry’s policy that directed schools to put students’ records of violence on their permanent transcripts.

The Education Ministry said yesterday it has reported three education superintendents: Kim Sang-kon of Gyeonggi Province, Kim Seung-hwan of North Jeolla and Min Byung-hui of Gangwon, as well as 26 officials of local education offices, school principals and teachers to the prosecution after conducting a special audit from Aug. 23 to Sept. 13 in these three regions.

The Education Ministry also has taken disciplinary action against 80 other officials from the three education offices.

“We decided to report the three superintendents to the prosecution because they have not followed the Education Ministry’s policies that directed them to put students’ violence records on their transcripts,” said Lee Hyun-joon, the chief auditor.

“It clearly is dereliction of duty and power abuse as a superintendent.”

The Education Ministry said the accused superintendents, officials and school teachers have refused to document students’ instances of violence or have even erased records that were transcribed in the past.

The ministry’s policy of recording violence on a student’s record, which began in January, is meant to curb bullying in schools, which is thought to be a major cause of student suicide.

But liberals in the education circle think it goes too far and permanently damages a student’s future.

Under the law, school transcripts are managed by school principals, but the criteria is decided by the Education Ministry.

“It is illegal for superintendents to not follow the rules that the Education Ministry has established,” Bae Dong-in, a spokesman from the Education Ministry, told the JoongAng Ilbo.

The Education Ministry said the North Jeolla Office of Education has arbitrarily changed the policy guidelines by ordering schools to include violence records on transcripts only when a student has committed a crime.

The North Jeolla office was ordered to implement the policies correctly nine times from April 13 to Aug. 24, but never carried out the orders and didn’t inform schools about the correct guidelines.

By Yoon Seok-man, Kwon Sang-soo [sakwon80@joongang.co.kr]

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