Saturday, August 13, 2011

More about Korean American gangsters working as teachers

To update this post about a former Korean American gangster wanted for murder in the US who was found to have worked as an English teacher and was running a hagwon, at the Marmot's Hole Robert summarizes two articles: a Chosun Ilbo article about another Korean American gangster caught teaching in hagwons, and a Kookmin Ilbo article about parents groups calling for stricter government control of foreign teachers. As always, the term F-4 does not appear anywhere in the article, and failure to deal with this - to make sure everyone working as a 'native speaker' gets foreign criminal record checks - guarantees that these cases will continue to occur.

One new piece of information is that it appears that a bill revising the hagwon law similar to the one that was eventually passed in Gyeonggi-do (that I mentioned here - there will be a future post on its outcome) was passed in the national assembly in June. Though it calls for criminal record checks for all hagwon instructors (Korean and foreign), I'm not sure if it will mandate foreign criminal record checks or merely Korean criminal record checks (Choi Young-hee's bills call for Korean criminal record checks only). Hopefully it can be implemented in a way to ensure everyone's background gets checked. One problem, however, is that three of the four Korean Americans or Canadians wanted for murder/attempted murder were in fact Korean citizens (or in the latest case, appeared to be a citizen). Most likely they (secretly) had dual citizenship. So there would have to be checks for Korean citizens working as native speakers as well. Of course, since every time one of these cases happens there are calls to strengthen the E-2 visa, I'm doubtful we'll actually see any meaningful changes.

As I said in the last post on the topic, since the latest case involved someone who appeared to be a Korean citizen, I would have thought that it would be difficult to link it to the specter of the 'harm' causing western 'native speaking instructor.' But with the Segye Ilbo writing things like "Throughout the country, there are many unqualified, shameless instructors. The number of drug taking, alcoholic, or child molesting crimes committed cannot be counted," and the Kookmin Ilbo writing "foreign instructors have been involved in many cases of assault, molestation, and drugs" (where are these molestation statistics?), I've clearly been proven wrong.

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