Extra! Korea

October 28, 2010

Teacher fired for sexually harassing his students taught, of all things, ethics

Filed under: crime, education, youth — extrakorea @ 9:43 am

The Korea Times brings us the story of a high school teacher who was fired for sexually harassing his own students.

According to the school, a 29-year-old teacher of ethics with the family name Song at a girls’ high school in Jongno, central Seoul, called in a 16-year-old student to the teachers’ room around the end of August and forced her to touch his body.

Furthermore, he has also sent obscene text messages to another student, saying, “Let’s go to a motel” and “Come to my home as my wife is out.” The teacher is also alleged to have sent pictures of his lower body to the student’s e-mail recently.
A group of students who found out about this ugly behavior strongly protested, but Song denied any unethical behavior, according to the school.

Last Friday, the school organized an in-house fact-finding team to investigate the case, while relieving him of his post as homeroom teacher.

“The investigation team confirmed Song had sent such text messages and pictures to the student.”

[ snip ]

The female student unfortunately dropped out of school.

The guy taught, of all things, ethics. You cannot make this stuff up. And it’s a damn shame that the student dropped out of school because of this scumbag. Now I’m wondering two things:

1. Will this man be charged with a crime, because it sure looks like he should be.

2. If he is not (!), will he be prevented from ever teaching again, or will he be simply shuffled off to another school?


  1. My money would be on shuffled to another school.

    When I lived in Cheongju a middle school teacher was convicted of raping 2 students. It turns out he had a history of this BUT the background check Koreans get isn’t as good as the basic Western one. I believe it went that if they are sentenced up to 5 years it is OFF THEIR record 3 years or so after their sentence is finished. (Don’t hold me to that, I don’t remember the exact number but it was/is ridiculous.)That doesn’t take into account the ones who buy their way out of it either. So he was rehired as a teacher with a SPARKLING clean record.

    Comment by What the Kimchi? — October 28, 2010 @ 8:12 pm

    • What you describe was mentioned in this Korea Times article (via Brian, via Gusts of Popular Feeling):

      Currently, criminal records of those sentenced to less than three years in prison are removed after five years. As such, schools can’t always ascertain the criminal record of would-be teachers.

      Comment by extrakorea — October 29, 2010 @ 11:31 am

  2. […] not only is he unlikely to be charged with anything, but commenters point out that his record will be wiped clean and he will be able to teach again in […]

    Pingback by Korean Gender Reader « The Grand Narrative — October 31, 2010 @ 12:49 pm

  3. What does one actually study to become an “ethics” teacher? What do they actually teach?

    And yeah, the law about clearing criminal records based on length of sentence — as opposed to the type of crime — is utterly problematic. Of course, length of sentence is probably a fair indicator of how the establishment thinks about severity of crime, so…

    Comment by gordsellar — November 1, 2010 @ 10:22 am

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