Thursday, January 25, 2007


The Joongang Ilbo often posts long articles in English which are quite good, and one I just read one titled 'The silent, deadly curse of bullying'. It looks at a 21 year-old woman who was bullied for years in middle and high school, and who is now a councellor for bullied children.

I could dig up lots of other articles about bullying in Korea, but I'm sure anyone familiar with Korea has a pretty good idea of how nasty it can be here. Contributing to this is the fact that, unlike many children who are bullied in the west, who have at least a friend or two, childen in Korea who are bullied are often totally ostracized, as no one wants to be associated with them for the fear that they, too, will be targeted by bullies. Another factor is the institutionalized violence prevalent here, especially in the school system, which lead the victims to simply 'shut up and take it,' and often not even try to fight back.

I'll be delving into this topic more in the near future. The article is here.


Whitey said...

Yeah, I read that one, too. Disturbing. I would be afraid to send a mixed-race child to school here, for fear of bullying.

I wonder if any foreigner readers out there send their kids to Korean public schools? Or do they just give in and pay the expensive private school tuition?

matt said...

A friend of mine is moving to an area with a school for mixed race kids because of the problems his son has been having. They recently went to a conference for mixed race families and there they met several other families, one of whom told him stories about their son. This boy was, in the schoolyard, made to lie down on the ground as a line of kids walked on him, while another time he was forced to go around the schoolyard acting like a beggar. To this my friend asked, “Where do little kids learn to treat someone like that?”

I know a few other mixed race families but it hasn't occurred to me to ask them about their children's schools; I'll have to in the future.