Saturday, February 13, 2010

A cautionary tale

Update:

Fixed the link - sorry about that. Also, according to this Yonhap article I just found, the arrests took place in Cheongju on September 7, 2004. The writer of the article linked below, Jason Storbakken, is mentioned in the Yonhap article as 스토바겐(27.미국)씨. In his story, he mentions that he and his three friends were part of a group of 15 teachers who were arrested, though the Yonhap story mentions only 12 people who were arrested. At any rate, it's interesting to have the story behind the story of this Yonhap article, though it's certainly not the first piece of writing about being arrested for drug use in Korea.

Original post:

While looking for something else I stumbled across this story from 2005 by an English teacher who was arrested for testing positive for THC. As a result, he spent two months in jail waiting for his trial, and had to pay a fine before being deported. I found this interesting:
We were returned to our cells at the Sondong Detention Center and a week later brought back to court for sentencing. The judges said Adam and I had to pay $3,400 (reduced from $5,000 because we had served two months), and be deported. Our sentence was slightly harsher than Felix’s, because he had not yet acquired his educator’s visa, while we were officially teachers.[Emphasis added.]
You'd think there would have been more repercussions due to teaching illegally, though perhaps the police did not realize this (it does note that 'Felix' had to serve out his sentence because he couldn't pay a fine, and it seemed to be more than 6 months). It's interesting that those who were 'officially teachers' got a stiffer punishment than someone who was not, perhaps commenting on the higher expectations of teachers in Korea (note that this took place before the English Spectrum incident).

On another note, the slow police reaction to the 'riot' he describes at Hwaseong Detention Center isn't very encouraging.

8 comments:

Mister Baekseju said...

I guess that unless they can prove that he was teaching illegally, he was a tourist, therefore not a resident.

kushibo said...

Can you give some details about when this was and where?

At the tail end of 2004 (I want to say September or October), I was tasked with helping the Canadian and American acquaintances of friends of a friend in a provincial city stay out of jail after being arrested for marijuana usage. Some followed the advice I dug up for them (with the gracious help of Brendon Carr) but others apparently didn't. I did not know them and was so appalled by the utter lack of common sense, gratitude, or introspection that I had no real interest in following up after that.

King Baeksu said...

Snitches be bitches. Straight up.

kushibo said...

Matt, the only link I'm seeing here is to a Marmot's Hole post about the Dong-a Ilbo interview with the AES stalker, um, follower.

matt said...

Whoops - sorry about that. I fixed it. It was in Sept. 2004, at least according to this Yonhap article I just found, and took place in Cheongju. He mentions that he and his three friends were part of a group of 15 teachers who were arrested, though the Yonhap story mentions only 7 people who were arrested. It does mention him by name, actually - 스토바겐(27.미국)씨 - so it's most certainly the same case.

Anonymous said...

Going to another country and engaging in illegal activities is just stupid (without even knowing what the consequences could be).

Korea should provide more information at the end of all contracts that explains some of these things to help avoid (mostly young) people from doing really stupid things.

Anonymous said...

Fix your own problems: Dumb laws in Canada

Darth Babaganoosh said...

Your link to the dumb Canadian laws is irrelevant. Even counting the Canadian content media laws, I doubt anyone has been charged with such "crimes" in decades.