SEOUL, July 21 (Korea Bizwire) — Following a recent case of suicide committed by a young homeroom teacher at an elementary school in Seoul’s Seocho Ward, rumors are spreading that excessive complaints from parents led the teacher to take such extreme measures.
Teachers have increasingly faced verbal and physical assaults from students’ parents, according to the educational community.
In November 2021, the police apprehended a parent for breaking into an elementary school in Incheon, where he strangled and verbally assaulted a teacher during class.
Upon receiving notification from the school that his son would be summoned by the school violence review committee as a perpetrator, the parent, along with two other men, arrived at the school to assault the teacher and verbally abuse the students.
Recently, a 6th-grade teacher at an elementary school in Yangcheon Ward had to undergo three weeks of medical treatment after being attacked by a student.
According to the Korean Federation of Teachers’ Associations, school committees responsible for protecting teachers’ rights reviewed a total of 1,249 assault cases on teachers between 2017 and 2022.
The number of cases where teachers were assaulted by students reached 347 last year, doubling from 2018.
“Among numerous violations of teachers’ rights, only a few make it to committees. Assault on teachers and staff has become all too common,” the Korean Federation of Teachers’ Associations said.
The Korean Educational Development Institute conducted a survey of 2,869 teachers at elementary and middle schools last year, in which 55.8 percent blamed ‘uncooperative behavior from parents’ as the biggest obstacle in educating students.
“Other public institutions have proper complaint processing systems in place. Schools, in contrast, have to deal with complaints one-on-one, making them particularly vulnerable to malicious complaints,” said Song Wook-jin, an official at the Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)