Friday, January 07, 2011

A bountiful harvest

Via Anti English Spectrum (first result), EBS broadcast a report yesterday titled "Weeding out instructors with sex crime records," which the anchor introduces by saying that as one cannot be careless about safety measures after school classes end, hagwons in the Seoul area which hire instructors with sex crimes on their criminal records will be fined up to 10 million won. The report then begins:
A rapist boarding hagwon owner who told students their marks would go up if they had sex with him.

A native speaking English instructor who molested an elementary school student.

In recent years, sex crimes occurring again and again at hagwons have caused parents a great deal of worry. [...]

In the future, regulations for hiring instructors for hagwons in the Seoul area will be greatly strengthened.

When hiring an employee, hagwon owners must without fail confirm with local police that the person has no record of sex crimes. Those who violate this face a fine up to 5 million won.
It goes on to say that overlooking a sex crime committed by a potential employee and hiring them anyway will get a fine of up to 3 million won, while refusing an education office's demand to dismiss someone with a sex crime in their past will get a fine of up to 10 million won. A hagwon which continuously fails to follow a dismissal order could have its registration canceled.

It also notes that it might be difficult to distinguish unqualified instructors in small hagwons which mostly hire short term or temporary instructors.

Fact for the day: there are currently 36,000 hagwons and institutes registered in the Seoul area.

Interesting that the hagwon owner mentioned at the start of the article would not have been caught by these new regulations, since he was an owner and not an employee.

Also interesting that the hagwon owner who fails to do a check gets fined more (5 million won) than someone who does the check, but ignores a sex crime on the record (3 million won). I'm also trying to imagine a case where a hagwon owner would refuse to fire a teacher with a sex crime in their background; as if any hagwon owner would want that getting out to the parents.

Also worth noting is that for the example of a Korean teacher committing a sex crime at a hagwon, a reference is made to this story from almost two months ago (which I mentioned near the bottom of this post), but the next example is "A native speaking English instructor who molested an elementary school student." As the next sentence reaffirms that what is being discussed are "sex crimes occurring again and again at hagwons ... in recent years," it's interesting to note that there hasn't been a report of a foreign English teacher committing such a crime in over two and a half years. Here are the three cases that are known to have taken place in hagwons (from this post):
On October 12, 2007 the Maeil Gyeongje, Kookmin Ilbo, YTN, NoCut News Newsis, and Kyunghyang Shinmun and two other internet news outlets reported that a 24 year-old American English teacher had been booked but not detained for molesting a six year old student at the Seoul hagwon where he worked on September 19. He strongly denied it, but CCTV video was entered as evidence.

This January 17, 2008 NoCut News, Segye Ilbo and Yonhap and two other online news outlets reported that a 39 year-old teacher from New Zealand teaching at a hagwon in Haeundae in Busan had been arrested for allegedly regularly putting his hands down the pants of a seven year-old girl during class time. As per the Marmot, "According to police, the Kiwi, identified as “T,” moved the alleged victim’s chair to a corner of the classroom so he could molest her without the other children in the class knowing."

An April 25, 2008 Kyunghyang Shinmun article reported that on March 18 a 32 year-old Canadian teacher at 'S' hagwon in Bupyeong-gu, Incheon molested a 9 year old student in the classroom. He confessed after seeing CCTV footage and, saying he did it accidentally after drinking too much makkeolli, and appealed for mercy. As he was working on a tourist visa, his hagwon was fined 4 million won for hiring him.
Other more recent cases took place in schools, private lessons, or a district office-run foreign language program (the latter had charges dropped).

I guess EBS has a longer memory than we might expect, and are thinking of one of those specific cases? Or perhaps they've made an error and mixed up one of the other non-hagwon cases with the three mentioned above? Or have they simply name-checked a foreign group which has been so repeatedly associated with molestation in the media and by national assembly representatives over the past six years that proof or precedent is not necessary?

Offering his opinion on their mention in the article, AES member 'Sky Blue Dream' wrote in a comment that, "Native speaking teachers are reaping what they sow."

Somehow I think this harvest has gotten some outside help.

3 comments:

Darth Babaganoosh said...

Native speaking teachers are reaping what they sow.

I'm not sure how exactly we are "reaping" anything with this new law, since this will affect KOREAN teachers, not foreign teachers. I mean, a NET can't get a visa at all if there are sex crimes on his CBC, right**?

And if he can, well, that would be the fault of Immigration, wouldn't it, the body that requires and vets all these NET background checks?

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Paul said...

Requiring a local CRC is totally reasonable in my eyes and I appreciate that it's not just foreigners. Everybody should get one.