Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Corporal Punishment

One of my first questions in class is, "How was your day at school?" A typical, "let's warm the waters" and get that English flowing, while i take attendance question. Most of the time it is followed by a one word answer, "horrible", "so-so", and a sometimes i'll manage a "good". Anyway, on a great day, they will deluge the details of their day. I'm hopeful that they had a good day and have something awesome to share. But, most of the time they talk about the massive amounts of homework they have, how tired they are, how much namogie they have, or how they hate their home room teacher. Most of the time followed by a story of how he/she beat them in class for forgetting their homework, talking too loudly, messing around, etc. They often also have bruised or red marks to show for it. Not ok. I've heard stories of teachers beating them with padded PVC pipe, sticks, bare hands. Yea, not ok. SO, not ok. So i listen to these stories and am quick to reassure them that it is wrong. Even if the law says it's ok... it's not. It's these kids in particular, i am mindful shower with positive attention and love!

How the hell can a male teacher hit a female elementary/middle school student? That, in no book or right of mind should ever be tolerated.

Corporal punishment, is legal-- or was legal, in Korea. A bill recently passed that banned corporal punishment in schools, but somehow i doubt that will change anything. In a less than impressive quote from the Korean Federation of Teachers Association, they oppose the recent ban handed down form the Seoul Office of Education, on grounds of Korean culture.
“Also, despite the negative effects of corporal punishment, it is irrelevant to put a sudden end to such a custom which has long existed in our educational culture."
"Educational culture"? "Custom"? Since when did beating become a tolerable "custom"?

Holy heck. Read the article for yourself. I'll stop writing before i get really angry.

Corporal Punishment Ban Opposed.


  1. Wow...... what can be said? We really don't know how good we have it do we?

  2. I remember SooJin, our friend from women's group (did you ever meet her?), telling us about being smacked in school during her childhood there. It's crazy how it hasn't changed yet.