Jeff over at “Ruminations In Korea” has posted an article about a story that has been circulating among foreigners in Korea for the last little while, maybe a week or so. His post on the subject is ominously titled:Teacher Beats Student. Which is exactly what happened. You can see the video on his site, or at the Chosun Ilbo’s site where an article is also available.
The short version is, an asshole teacher stood a girl up in class and told her offI heard a rumor he was giving her hell for drinking coffee, of all thingsand then he hit her in the face and head a number of times. A quick-thinking student who had a cell phone with videocam capability caught what followed and posted it to the Internet.
From the article about it, the following ensued:
With the spread through the Internet of a video clip depicting a teacher assaulting a female girl in the classroom, the Gyeonggi-do District Office of Education decided to fire the teacher in question, Thursday.
At the office today most people expressed shock that the question was whether or not to fire the teacher, rather than whether to send him to jail, but I think people are romanticizing things a little. I had a violent gym teacher in the late-eighties and early-nineties who did things almost as violent as this for yearseven to a near-model student like me, or rather, more often to the good students as they tended to be bad at sportsand he was promoted to the position of principal at a rural school after all of that.
That said, I do suspect such incidents are more common here than back home, and that the way kids and adults alike here are taught to respect authority until given a lot of reason to do otherwise probably means more teachers get away with it here. Which is why I think more kids need to be armed with these kinds of devices, for their own security. Most people I know say they suspect teachers will try to limit the ability to bring cell phones to class. I think, in fact, students should be encouraged to do so as a way of defending themselves, and I think parents should insist that their kids be allowed to do so. Any teacher who isn’t doing things like this should have no major objection, and those who do have objections ought to be watched very carefully.