SEOUL, May 4 (Korea Bizwire) — Four out of 10 high student students believe that sexual harassment by teachers takes place in school, according to a survey carried out by a government institution.
The National Human Rights Commission of Korea released on Thursday the results of an investigation into sexual harassment by teachers.
Of the 814 female high school students and 200 male students surveyed, 40.9 percent said that “they believe sexual harassment by teachers exists,” and 27.7 percent of respondents said they had experienced sexual harassment by teachers first hand.
When asked if they had experienced harassment in primary and secondary school, 17.8 percent and 17.5 percent, respectively, answered “yes.”
Male teachers were singled out by 45 percent of the students, and 29.2 percent pointed to female teachers as perpetrators, while 25.8 percent of the students surveyed said both male and female teachers had sexually harassed them in the past.
The students claimed sexual harassment took place “during class” the most at 53.9 percent, followed by venues where individuals were consulting with their teachers.
Of those who experienced unwanted sexual advances, 37.9 percent said that “they pretended not to notice and kept still,” 19.8 percent said “they thought it was wrong but just persevered,” 26 percent said that they were unable to take appropriate action because “they didn’t know what to do,” 21.9 percent said that “they were afraid of being disadvantaged in their chances of attending college,” and 15.5 percent said they were afraid “that other classmates would find out.”
Yet other students claimed that the reason for sexual advances by teachers were due to “attempts to get closer to students” (25.9 percent) and “because the teachers were taking interest in students” (12.3 percent).
Assailants prey on students who are in difficult family situation and emotionally deprived, and this makes it hard for victims to recognize that they are being sexually harassed, says the Human Rights Commission.
Of the students, 62.7 percent said that “there must be harsher punishment for teachers who commit sexual harassment” while the Human Rights Commission agreed that “education on sexual harassment for students is necessary” to prevent harassment from happening again in the future.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)