SEOUL, June 21 (Korea Bizwire) – A scandal surrounding the alleged special treatment of children of conglomerate CEOs and celebrities in a case of school violence has sparked a public outcry, with some going one step further and treating the controversy as a sign of social inequality in the country.
According to the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, officials at Soongeui Elementary School have been found guilty of mishandling or postponing taking appropriate measures in a case of school violence.
As the education office continues its investigation into claims that the school intentionally tried to cover up the incident in order to help those involved save face, one figure was at the center of the attention.
TV personality and singer Yoon Son-ha has been a lightning rod for criticism in the media due to her fame since the TV network SBS first covered the scandal as part of its news program.
However, reports later emerged that Yoon was the only parent to have shown up at the school to apologize.
Private schools are no stranger to the spotlight for both good and bad reasons in the South Korean media, with the latest example at Soongeui Elementary School of a school violence scandal involving children of high profile figures reflecting the rise in school violence the country has experienced in recent years.
According to a report released by the Anti-Corruption & Civil Rights Commission in March, the number of reports of school violence rose 12.5 percent from 2013 to 2015, amounting to nearly 20,000 cases.
Given the seriousness of the current situation, efforts to tackle the emerging social problem are being seen around the country.
In response to rising school violence, the Busan Metropolitan Office of Education introduced plans on Tuesday to conduct an inspection of 641 elementary, middle and high schools in the region, an initiative that will go on until August, as part of efforts to prevent growing violence at school.
Busan’s new anti-school violence measure will also focus on determining whether schools have applied appropriate measures to amend relationships between bullies and victims, and will also examine 32 boarding schools to address concerns related to sexual violence.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)