Friday, July 23, 2010

SBS radio interviews AES's Lee Eun-ung

On July 9, 2010, Anti English Spectrum's Lee Eun-ung was interviewed on the SBS morning radio show‘서두원의 SBS 전망대, or "Seo Du-won's SBS Viewpoint." I've translated the transcript which was put up on their site later that day (see the first search result here):
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Anchor Seo Du-won:
Last year (a) native speaking teacher posted nude pictures of (his) students on the internet causing a large problem and now not long ago a native speaking teacher who molested students at an elementary school in Daegu fled abroad. With unqualified native speaking teachers openly teaching children in schools and hagwons and causing problems such as sex crimes, we are in a situation where urgent measures are needed immediately. Why authorities are unable to block such native speaking teachers from entering the country is not understood. Lee Eun-ung, a spokesperson for the Citizen’s Movement to Expel Illegal Teachers of Foreign Languages is on the phone, and will talk about the present situation and measures to deal with it. Good morning Mr. Lee.

Lee Eun-ung:
Good morning.

Anchor Seo Du-won:
Just how serious is the present situation of native speaking teacher sex crime?

Lee Eun-ung:
I’ve looked into the seriousness of the native speaking teacher sex crime situation. There are a wide range of issues. The places where they commit sex crimes have included most places of education but also have not been well exposed. Also, the approach they take to committing sex crimes is to disguise its form as being educational, and the reason they can commit sex crimes is that the minors don’t easily feel it to be a sex crime. And when it comes to targets of sex crime, they don’t distinguish between preschoolers, male or female school students. For example, one native speaking teacher played a game where the students touched his genitals. It’s quite dangerous.

Anchor Seo Du-won:
Native speaking teachers don’t just teach children but also adults, and come into contact with a broad range of people. Are there many cases of crime targeting children?

Lee Eun-ung:
There are many sex crimes involving children, and we should be concerned about the fact that sex crimes against children are not exposed until they are uncovered. This is because unqualified native speaking teachers get a child to come to a closed off place or blind spot to commit their sex crime but as I said before the reason the sex crime occurs is because they use an educational method. So they are not easily uncovered. As I pointed out before there are a great many affected by this issue, but those who are victimized come from a variety of social strata. The professions of the people who have reported incidents of children suffered sex crimes have included people from various social strata such as teachers and public servants, and when you understand the number of reports we get of children suffering sex crimes at the hands of unqualified native speaking teachers, you can realize just how widespread crimes against children are.


Anchor Seo Du-won:
Just now you mentioned unqualified native speaking teachers. You’ve said that people who are just foreigners who speak English generally well can become a teacher, and if they are to be employed, qualified people should be chosen. How many unqualified native speaking teachers have come to Korea?

Lee Eun-ung:
In truth there are no accurate national statistics, but if we just look at statistics and include legal teachers, we can estimate there are 50,000. There are 21,000 people on E-2 visas. In addition, if we exclude F2 and F4 teachers, we realize that the rest add up to at least ten or twenty thousand illegal teachers, though we don’t have accurate statistics.

Anchor Seo Du-won:
So many native speaking teachers are young?

Lee Eun-ung:
Yes, according to a job report about native speaking teachers most of the English teachers in Korea are in their 20s. Those in their 20s and 30s make up 90% of the total.

Anchor Seo Du-won:
How is it that native speaking teachers without qualifications come to Korea. Don't they need a visa?

Lee Eun-ung:
That's right. There are qualifications to become an English teacher. Have you studied for 4 years at a university in an English-speaking country? With that simple qualification, many unqualified teachers have had the opportunity to come to Korea. Also, in Korea because of English education and the rage for English anyone who is foreign and can speak English can reap the benefits of this and receive many favors and pleasures, and for this reason many problems have occurred.

Anchor Seo Du-won:
Yes, I’ve been told that in order to be issued the conversation instruction visa, the E-2 visa, only those who have a 4 year degree from a university in an English speaking country can receive them.

Lee Eun-ung:
That's right.

Anchor Seo Du-won:
However, the Ministry of Justice has for three years required a visa screening for the purpose of language education including a criminal record check, but it seems this hasn’t been effective?

Lee Eun-ung:
It does have an effect, only, as a safety net, it’s not 100% effective. Of the foreign teachers we have uncovered, sex crimes have been committed by teachers who are working here legally. Especially in one case, a professor at a university in Daejeon had an FBI criminal record check and the government’s safety net did not filter him out. Rather, we received a tip and reported him and he was able to be removed. Also, a foreign teacher had a document for his E-2 visa that included a health and drug check. One teacher who considered this in itself to be a violation of human rights turned out to have been stripped of qualifications in his home country due to a sexual problem. To this extent it’s serious.

Anchor Seo Du-won:
So a teacher’s criminal record should be accurately confirmed before [deciding] one is qualified enough to be a teacher.

Lee Eun-ung:
Yes. Also with criminal records, the problem is that instead of a federal criminal record, a record from a state or county can be submitted . For example, if teacher A commits a crime in state A and moves to state B, a criminal record for state B can be submitted which will not contain the crime, and the teacher can come to Korea. Also, a problem with the system is that if someone changes their name then crimes cannot be verified and for this reason it’s not possible to have a 100% effective safety net.

Anchor Seo Du-won:
So I think it’s not easy to catch unqualified teachers. Spokesperson Lee Eun-ung’s site, “The Citizen’s Movement to Expel Illegal Teachers of Foreign Languages” is the only one to be seen.

Lee Eun-ung:
Yes, we’re the only one, and we specialize in this.

Anchor Seo Du-won:
How involved are you in such activities?

Lee Eun-ung:
We have 20,000 members. Through the National Assembly and media organizations we inform people of the seriousness of the situation and make many legal efforts to push for native speaker verification system legislation.

Anchor Seo Du-won:
As of this year you’ve been at this for 6 years. In that time how many native speaking teachers have you caused to be expelled?

Lee Eun-ung:
Our work has resulted in the expulsion, arrests, deportation or fining of 120 people. In regards to systemic and legal problems, we have made great efforts to have health, drug and crime checks done for the native speaking teacher visa.

Anchor Seo Du-won:
So how do you discover unqualified teachers? If you receive many complaints, do you enter into an investigation like a private detective?

Lee Eun-ung:
First, when we receive a tip, our role is to follow up on the tip and confirm the existence of the relevant hagwon and the teacher’s identity. As for the rest, if I or our group’s members can’t speak directly with the institution I will look to the other members for assistance, and with their cooperation we will come to the truth.

Anchor Seo Du-won:
I have heard that you once caught a native speaking teacher for drugs after a 150-day stakeout. How was that possible?

Lee Eun-ung:
As I just told you before, when we receive a tip, we first request assistance from our members. Most informers are reluctant to meet with members directly. So in this process, to first make contact I receive a tip and confirm that the tip is credible and from there we cooperate with members. Actually, the reason the person’s face and residence were known to us was absolutely because of this process requiring cooperation, which took about 150 days to catch the drug teacher.

Anchor Seo Du-won:
Really incredible. So of course when it comes time to catch the unqualified native speaking teacher, you receive help from the police?

Lee Eun-ung:
Of course. We cannot infringe on the police’s jurisdiction because we should obey social and legal norms. Our part in the arrest process and such is only to cooperate.

Anchor Seo Du-won:
Those who are caught are not all deported. What about that?

Lee Eun-ung:
That is extremely difficult. For example, suppose the person who was caught in Daegu was not married. If Koreans didn’t want him deported, he would not be deported. To give an actual example, one person who committed a sex crime against a minor and uttered death threats in Canada could not be deported because he was on an F-2 Visa.

Anchor Seo Du-won:
What’s an F2 visa?

Lee Eun-ung:
People who have married Koreans and become the spouse of a citizen. If you look at such cases, it’s extremely difficult to punish and deport such people.

Anchor Seo Du-won:
So in such a case, those who are arrested can in the end only be fined.

Lee Eun-ung:
Yes.

Anchor Seo Du-won:
This problem requires more continued attention so as to diligently devise a way to solve it. Thank you for talking with us today.

Lee Eun-ung:
Yes, thank you.

Anchor Seo Du-won:
This has been Lee Eun-ung, spokesperson for The Citizen’s Movement to Expel Illegal Teachers of Foreign Languages.

___

Isn't it great that the media has someone to turn to when they want to talk about foreign English teachers? Or uncritically accept the statements of someone on a soapbox, I mean?

I enjoyed the fact that the statement that there are "at least ten or twenty thousand illegal teachers, though we don’t have accurate statistics" didn't set off any bullshit detectors.

For some odd reason, Lee left out 'pawing through people's garbage' as part of the AES foreign English teacher 'detection and expulsion' process.

A few notes:
Regarding, "Last year (a) native speaking teacher posted nude pictures of (his) students on the internet," no such case made headlines last year. Or the year before. Or the year before that. 2006, on the other hand, did have the case described here and here about a teacher who unwisely posted his name, photo, and place of work as well as photos of co-workers and nudes of women that he said he slept with. Unless that quotation was referring to the original English Spectrum incident, which occurred in 2005.

As for "one native speaking teacher played a game where the students touched his genitals," while that could have happened, it also sounds a lot like the advice given in the 2003 "How to Mollest[sic] your students" at Korean ESL (which was discovered by Korean netizens in 2005 during the English Spectrum incident) where the writer suggested playing games for nefarious purposes.

Regarding "one person who committed a sex crime against a minor and uttered death threats in Canada could not be deported because he was on an F-2 Visa," it may refer to this 2006 case, or it may not. I have read a story like that in the media somewhere, which I think was an actual case.

11 comments:

L Tron said...

What does this even mean:

"Of the foreign teachers we have uncovered, sex crimes have been committed by teachers here legally."?

How is it possible to commit a sex crime legally? Or, for that matter, any crime?

Stafford said...

And of course the criminal check issue has been tightened up as of this week.

matt said...

L Tron:

Sorry, the translation's not so clear. It should be, "Of the foreign teachers we have uncovered, sex crimes have been committed by teachers who are teaching here legally," ie teachers on an E-2 visa (or not on a tourist visa). I'll change that.

Stafford:

The new visa rules were reported two days after this interview (July 11), and AES did a victory dance post at their site on the 13th.

L Tron said...

That makes much more sense. Sure, the guy's still making most of it up, but at least it's now sensical craziness.

Stuart said...

There's no mention that a lot of these crimes were committed by ethnic Koreans teaching on an F visa. The case in Deagu recently was committed by man with the family name of Kang.

In fact, the only time he even mentions F visa status teachers is to refer to foreigners that are married to Koreans. Most people teaching English here in Korea on an F visa status are ethnic Koreans.

As for wanting to hire qualified teachers. The board of education is doing completely the opposite in their public school program.

The funding was cut to a 30 million subsidy this year. The subsidy is what the school gets from the board of education for having a native teacher there on the government issued EPIK or GEPIK program.

This covers the salary for a level 3 teacher. A level 3 teacher is somebody who has no teaching experience and no teaching qualifications. The school has to foot the bill from their own budget if they want to hire anybody else with more experience or qualifications.

Because of this the schools have been telling recruiters not to send them the resumes of experienced teachers because they are only interesting in hiring a level 3 or level 2 teachers.

I've been told by 3 recruiters so far that it would be very difficult to get any public school job now because I'm too "qualified".

I confronted the board of education over this matter and they have refused to respond.

Darth Babaganoosh said...

I'm simply astounded every time this joker makes the news that he can spout any ridiculous story or "stat" he wishes and not a SINGLE media outlet or interviewer EVER asks him where he gets his info or to back up any of his outrageous claims.

For example, one native speaking teacher played a game where the students touched his genitals.

WHOA! That sounds pretty fucking serious! So where are the followup questions? Has the interviewer not heard of the 5Ws of news reporting? Does he not want to KNOW more about this obviously dangerous individual? WHO was he? WHERE did this happen? WHEN did this happen? HOW did they catch him? WHAT happened to him after they found out about this?

Aren't those the kinds of questions people should be asking Lee Eung-ah every time he lets another story out of his mouth about such dangerous people? Wouldn't a Korean parent wish to know more in order to protect their child from dangerous people such as that?

But, no. Nothing. It's all taken at face value, so any bullshit can be said by Eung-ah to inflate his own ego and to continue his hate-filled agenda against all things foreign.

brent said...

What annoys me most is all of the hassle the government puts legal teachers through. All the checks, visa papers, etc.
Then there are the Canadians that come here on tourist visas up to six months and suck up a lot of the private tutoring available and lowering the demand and increasing the supply. If immigration and whoever wants a witch hunt, get the people here on tourist visas.

Last, WTF is with the unqualified tag being thrown around with AES. The government has set the qualification bar. It's not whatever qualifications he feels like it is and judges to be.

If this prick is serious about the children, then take on the Korean teachers and instructors that waited for their 5 years to clear their criminal records. I bet parents would be shocked if they knew more.

Darth Babaganoosh said...

If this prick is serious about the children, then take on the Korean teachers and instructors that waited for their 5 years to clear their criminal records.

He's already addressed this. He won't do it. His focus is and always was non-Korean foreigners. If you've got Korean blood in you (whether a citizen or a gyopo on an F4), you're not on his radar, and never were.

He has not made it a secret that he is all about getting whitey, and only whitey. He's a hate monger and one would expect nothing less from a hate monger.

matt said...

Stuart:

Do you mean the recent Daegu molestation case was committed by a gyopo, or one of the drug cases?

Darth Babaganoosh:

I think they have actually tracked down gyopos (from what they've put on their site), but at the same time he stated publicly in early 2009 that HIV and drug tests not need be applied to their F-4 brethren.

And while I'm writing, are Dave's posters so lazy that they can't click on a link, and have to post the entire translation there in its entirety? It doesn't seem like asking much, having spent the time on the translation, for readers to come here...

Stuart said...

The molestation case in Deagu was committed by a gyopo and a number of the drugs cases were again committed by gyopos.

This seams to be omitted by Eun Ung and a number of media sources just refers to them as Americans or native English speakers and then goes on to demonize E2 visa holders.

Paul said...

Tougher criminal record checks are going to increase the number of illegal teachers in the country. Tell me a person or Hagwon who wants to wait the 5 months for that check to pan out.

They aren't free either. As for illegal teachers, what does that mean exactly. If your ARC isn't up to date, do you count? There's a lot of white collar stuff that foreigners rely on their bosses to sort out that doesn't end up as such that likely makes nearly all of us illegal in some capacity.