Gov’t threatens day care centers over blacklist

Home > National > Social Affairs

print dictionary print

Gov’t threatens day care centers over blacklist

Following the JoongAng Ilbo’s report Thursday that owners of day care centers share a blacklist of teachers who reported child abuse and management irregularities to authorities, the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission said yesterday it will hold owners legally accountable if they are found using such a list.

“Under current laws designed to protect whistle-blowers contributing to the public interest, the firing of a teacher for whistle-blowing could earn an owner a two-year prison term or 20 million won [$18,000] fine,” said the commission in a statement released yesterday.

“Anyone who compiles a blacklist and discloses the identities of teachers on the list will meet the sternest punishment,” said Kim An-tae, a commission official.

The commission said a person charged with disclosing the blacklist could face up to three years in prison.

“If public officials dispatched to inspect day care centers reveal the identities of whistle-blowers to owners, they will also be subject to legal punishment,” the commission said.

Teachers who cooperated with a joint investigation by the Songpa Police Precinct and Songpa District Office into 700 day care centers in Seoul and Gyeonggi, which concluded that at least 10 billion won in state subsidies had been siphoned off by owners, have been placed on a hiring blacklist, which has been shared by day care center owners and managers.

The publicizing of a text message sent by one of the fired teachers to a Songpa police officer pleading for help - and saying she will never work again because she’s on the list - fueled public outrage.

Public concern over standards at day care centers has grown recently after a string of child abuse cases in the country coupled with the disclosure of the widespread embezzlement of government subsidies.

One teacher at a public day care center in Busan is now behind bars for allegedly smashing a 1-year-old’s back, leaving bruises.

Another child abuse case unfolded yesterday in Sejong City where it was reported that a teacher in her 40s at a day care center at the central government complex allegedly kicked and hit a 1-year-old with a tissue box. The authorities confirmed the abuse after checking CCTV recordings from the center.

By Ko Sung-pyo, Kang Jin-kyu [jkkang2@joongang.co.kr]

More in Social Affairs

Heavy snow expected across Korea on Monday morning

Level 2.5 remains in place, but rules relaxed for cafes, gyms

Medical license of Cho Kuk's daughter challenged

Covid cases continue to drop but public anxiety remains high

On Covid vaccines, many Koreans say, 'You first!'

Log in to Twitter or Facebook account to connect
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
help-image Social comment?
lock icon

To write comments, please log in to one of the accounts.

Standards Board Policy (0/250자)

What’s Popular Now