Video of teens abusing elderly women goes viral

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Video of teens abusing elderly women goes viral

A video clip of foul-mouthed teenagers disrespecting elderly women in a nursing home has gone viral, prompting the police to launch an investigation yesterday.

The video shows the two boys from Suncheon Jeil High School shouting at bed-ridden old women in very impolite Korean at a nursing home in the Sangsa neighborhood of Suncheon, South Jeolla. “Get down on your knees, right now!” a boy yells in the 12-second-video as the old woman - probably in her 80s given her frail appearance - struggles to get up and stop him.

In a separate scene that runs 15 seconds, a boy threatens an elderly woman who seems to have trouble moving freely by shaking her bed up and down. The two were part of nine students who were ordered to carry out community service at the nursing home after they were caught smoking in violation of the school rules. One of the teenagers posted the repulsive file on his Facebook page, which was later shared by a number of furious online users.

In a country where respect for the elderly is highly valued based on traditional Confucianism, the video came as a palpable shock to numerous people. The high school was also blamed for failing to properly oversee the teenagers.

In response to the simmering public resentment, the Suncheon Jeil High School issued an apology yesterday.

“We sincerely apologize to those affected, their family members and all of those who might be disappointed by the unethical behavior of our students,” the statement read. “We plan to impose a heavy corrective measure on the two students and will provide more careful moral education.”

Multiple local media outlets reported that the school has decided to force the students to find another school and will permanently expel them if they fail to find a new school within three days. The decision was made during an emergency meeting where 10 teachers discussed the measure against the two students.

The two boys’ parents reportedly pleaded for favorable handling of the controversy, but the school went ahead with its decision.

The police also treated the case seriously. “We are investigating the case in cooperation with the school and the care center,” said Park Seung-ju, chief police officer of Suncheon Police Station. “We will thoroughly investigate them and will announce proper punishment which can include criminal penalties,” said the chief police officer.



By Park Eun-jee [ejpark@joongang.co.kr]

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