Violent streak not only among older teenagers

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Violent streak not only among older teenagers

A rash of elementary school violence in recent months has deepened worries that the behavior is not only limited to middle and high school students.

The Guro Police Precinct in western Seoul reported Tuesday that an 11-year-old female student, whose identity has been withheld, assaulted her classmate for hours on April 6 by stomping on her and pouring liquid bleach on her head.

The police said the fifth-grader approached her classmate, whose identity has also not been disclosed, near their school and punched her in the face and stomped on her while the victim was on the ground. The police have refused to identify the school.

The offender allegedly confronted the victim asking why she was spreading bad rumors about her.

The offender then allegedly took the victim to a nearby public restroom and poured liquid bleach over her hair.

The victim reportedly testified to the police that the offender filmed the assault with her mobile phone. The victim returned home at around 10 p.m. that day with bruises all over her body. The police are now questioning the offender and her classmates to find out if she bullied other classmates, which the victim told the police she had during questioning.

Meanwhile, the school is facing mounting questions over its response to the case.

The school found out about the incident three days after it happened, but waited 10 more days to report it to the police.

The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education has begun a probe to find out if the school violated guidelines which mandate schools should timely report cases to the regional educational office.

In Wonju, Gangwon, last month, three 11-year-old students sexually assaulted a 21-year-old woman with intellectual disabilities at a construction site while showing her a porn video with a mobile phone, the Wonju Police Precinct reported on March 13. The police said it handed the case to the juvenile division of the prosecution as all the suspects were under age 15.

The police reported another case of elementary school violence in Gimhae, South Gyeongsang, last December. The authorities said five sixth-graders bullied their classmate and extorted 930,000 won ($830.4) in total over a six-month period, beginning in April last year.

The Gimhae Jungbu Police Precinct reported that the five offenders forced the victim to give them money, beating him up and even forcing him to eat pieces of a plastic yogurt container. Intimidated by the five bullies, the targeted student, whose identity has been withheld, took a credit card from his mother’s pocket and withdrew money to give it to the offenders.


By Lee Ji-eun, Kim So-hyun [jkkang2@joongang.co.kr]
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