At the top of Naver earlier today was a Hankyoreh report stating that, after a first grade high school committed suicide on Tuesday, it was confirmed that another first grade high school student killed himself and one other attempted suicide in Gangnam at the end of last year. Teachers and students agree that the level of stress for first year students is just as bad as that of third year students.
Police confirmed that in December a 17 year old student jumped from an apartment building near his house in Gangnam (just like in the most recent case). He'd transferred from a school north of the river and ahead of his final exams got drunk one night and jumped. He couldn't adjust to the much stricter atmosphere in Ganngam schools, his marks went down, and he was penalized many times. Students were shocked by his suicide, the vice principle said, and as the school has more students than other schools who don't adjust well, a counsellor was brought in after the incident to concentrate on first graders.
Even more shocking was the story from last November of another 17 year-old first grader who jumped out the window of a fourth floor classroom at school suddenly while class was in progress. Luckily, she only suffered a broken leg, and is living a normal school live now. She apparently told an official that students live well and study well in Gangnam's 8th district, and she was so stressed from studying for an/the university entrance exam that she jumped. [One wonders how traumatized her classmates were.]
Students tell teachers that the stress begins when they receive marks that are lower than their middle school scores, with one student saying he just wanted to die when he saw his first test results.
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