Monday, September 09, 2013

Foreign public school English teachers commit 25 crimes over 5 years

I've been rather busy the last few weeks, but hopefully I'll have more time to post now. It's rather hard to ignore the several stories about foreign teacher which have been in the news this past week. The most recent was first reported yesterday by News Y, an all-news cable TV channel run by Yonhap.

White people keep committing crimes.

Yonhap fleshed it out with a longer article an hour later:
Over the past five years 25 native speaking English teachers committed crimes
Drug crimes by eight people made up the most

In the last five years, of native speaking English assistant teachers placed in elementary, middle and high schools across the country, 25 have committed crimes, of whom 22 were let go.

On the 8th, Rep. Lee Hak-jae of Saenuri party, referring to a document titled 'Crimes by native speaking English assistant teachers over the past 5 years' which was submitted by the Ministry of Education, stated that between 2009 and August of this year,  25 native speaking English assistant teachers were disciplined for committing various crimes.

Of these, 22 were fired and the remaining three received warnings.

With eight arrests, drug crimes made up of most crimes committed by native speaking English assistant teachers. There were also six cases of drunk driving, 3 cases of assault, and 2 cases of theft.

By region, at 13, Gyeonggi-do had the most crimes native speaking English assistant teachers, followed by three in Jeollabuk-do, two each in Daejeon, Gyeongsangnam-do, and Busan, and one each in Jeollanam-do, Gyeongsangbuk-do and Jeju.

In Seoul and the other eight cities or provinces, there were no crimes by native speaking English assistant teachers over the past five years.

In the case of Gyeonggi-do, five were severely punished for drunk driving, while one was fired for committing a sex crime.

A Ministry of Education official said, "If foreigners want to work in Korea as an English instructor, they must submit a criminal record check and a medical certificate which includes drug test results.
And HIV tests. Don't forget those. This story has also been reported by the Hankook Ilbo, MBC, the Kyunghyang Sinmun, and the Herald Gyeongje.

One wonders which crimes resulted in warnings only? Likely not the sex crime (getting let off for sex crimes is something only Korean teachers get to do (see the article "65% of teachers with sex crimes on record continue to work")).

Actually, a similar report was released last October which stated that 15 native speaking teachers had committed crimes over three years:
According to material submitted by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology to National Assembly Education, Science and Technology committee member Rep. Lee Hak-jae (Saenuri party) during the parliamentary audit, from 2010 to June 2012 15 native speaking assistant English teachers were punished for various crimes, it was announced on October 4.

By year, 11 were caught in 2010, two in 2011, and two in the first half of this year.

Native speaking assistant English teacher crime involved drugs the most, with 5 caught for drug crimes; 2 were arrested and charged, while 3 were charged but not detained. One teacher was caught for assault, another for theft, and another for a sex crime, while 6 others [SIC] committed other crimes.

13 teachers had their contracts canceled by their schools, while two got warnings.
You'll note that it was Rep. Lee Hak-jae who dug up that information as well. At the time I thought the single sex crime was by the teacher who fled from Daegu in 2010 and was extradited back to Korea in April before being sentenced to 4 years in prison in September 2012. The information in the most recent article, however, says the sex crime was committed in Gyeonggi-do.

I'm curious to figure out what the crime rate for native speaking English assistant teachers would be. There are two problems: One is that there is no breakdown by year (though the 2012 article above says 11 were caught in 2010, and 2 in 2011); the other is that we don't have complete statistics for the total number of NSETs. The graph below shows there being 7,997 in 2009 and 8,546 in 2010:

2011 saw the GEPIK cuts occur and the announcement of the SMOE cuts (with cuts announced by Busan and Gangwon-do in 2012), but it's hard to make estimates.

In August 2010 the E-2 visa was split into the E-2-1 visa (for hagwons, etc) and the E-2-2 visa (public school native speaking teachers), but the default is E-2-1, so everyone working in a public school at that point was classified as E-2-1 by default - only teachers coming in after August 2010 were put into the new E-2-2 category. In recent years, the number in that category has grown, with 4,368 teachers on E-2-2 visas in December 2011, 5,068 in April 2012, 5,260 in August 2012, 5,158 in December 2012, 5,218 in April 2013, and 5,092 in July 2013. There are likely still some teachers working as public school NSETs who have been on the same visa since the new category was created, so it's hard to know for sure what the number would be. At a guess, there are between 5,500 and 6,000 NSETs at the moment, and the numbers would have fallen between 2010 (8,500) to the present number.

If I were to guess, we might add 8,000 for 2009, 8,500 for 2010, perhaps 7,000 for 2011, 6,000 for 2012, and 5,500 for 2013, to end up with 35,000 teachers during that five year period. 25 crimes out of 35,000 teachers is 71.4 per 100,000; divide that by 4.66 (4 years, 8 months) and we get a crime rate of 15.3 per 100,000 per year on average.

Compare this to the 2011 Korean rate of criminality (listed here) of 3,692 per 100,000. And keep in mind over 25% of the Korean population is made up of children and the elderly, while the foreign teacher population is not.

So, with Rep. Lee Hak-jae digging up this information over the past two years, one wonders if he'll announce, "Hey, these people have an extremely low crime rate considering all the bad press they get."

I kid.

[Yes, I realize a comparison needs to be made with the Korean teacher crime rate (which I'd guess is lower, though I don't know that for sure).]

1 comment:

K said...

Blind them with Science, Matt!