Thursday, April 09, 2009

More sexual misconduct by non-'miserable failure' teachers

[Update 2: Be sure to read Ben Wagner's comment here.]

[Update: Korea Beat translates the Yonhap article mentioned below here.]

One of the highlights of this rant was seeing
a Korean American student attending a university in Virginia, bemoaning the epidemic of '"native English speakers" who miserably fail in their own lives' overrunning Korea, use the phrase - referring to said epidemic - "it doesn't shoot up the death toll." It's about as advisable as a "native English speaker" telling assembled Korean parents, "Your children have touched me, as I'm sure I've touched them." How was she to know it would be published on the same day as this?

In other news, the Korea Times reports that a temporary teacher in Chungcheongbuk-do was arrested for raping and molesting female teens, and that "He had previously been convicted on seven counts of sexual assault and other crimes." While not a "native English speaker" of the sort derided in the first article, the obvious question arises as to how someone with seven counts of sexual assault was able to get a job teaching students. The answer?
Currently, criminal records of those sentenced to less than three years in prison are removed after five years. As such, schools can't always ascertain the criminal record of would-be teachers.
Lovely. This essentially means that anyone convicted of rape or, say, paying an 11 year-old for sex would be free to teach after five years, because sex crimes aren't severely punished in Korea. It would be interesting to see just how many sex offenders have gotten a sentence over 3 years (and how many are teaching now - surely this is a more pressing issue than the next 'native English speaker' scandal). Yonhap has an article in Korean looking at this case as well as recent cases of sexual misconduct by Korean teachers here (which Korea Beat translated here). On the bright side, at least you can be a little more certain of where non-Korean teachers on E-2 visas stand.

Speaking of E-2 visas, in an article about how the government plans to fingerprint and photograph all foreigners coming into Korea, we're told that
The bill also aims to ease the regulations governing foreign workers. Under the current law, all foreign workers are required to gain approval from the immigration authorities before they can make any change to their employment status. The bill is seeking to allow foreigners staying on E-1, E-3, E-4 and E-5 visas to alter their status without prior authorization, though they will still have to report the amendment.
According to the list here, these visas apply to professors, research, technology transfer, and professional employment, respectively. Unsurprisingly, the bill skips out on a run by not applying this easing of regulations to E-2 visa holders (or entertainers or foreign workers, for that matter).


Brian said...

When I think of "Korean," "Virginia," and "shoot up" . . .

Juicy said...

That's a real cheap shot, Brian.

Ben said...

Good post Matt. Do you remember the KT opinion piece by Lee Bok-nam of the KIS?

In defending criminal background checks for foreigners, Lee mentions "the act on protecting youth from sexual offense totally bans 'Korean' nationals with a history of sexual offenses from lecturing and getting any form of employment in youth education institutions."

The Act he cites is "청소년의 성보호에 관한 법률" Specifically Art. 42(11), which states:

"11. 「체육시설의 설치*이용에 관한 법률」 에 따라 설립된 체육시설 중 청소년을 대상으로 하는 체육시설 ②청소년 관련
교육기관 등의 장은 그 기관에 취업 중이거나 사살상 노무를 재공 중인 자 또는 취업하려 하거나 사살상 노무를 제공하려는 자에
대하여 청소년대상 성범죄의 경력을 확인하여야 한다. 이 경우 본인의 동의를 받아 관계 기관의 장에게 청소년대상 성범죄경럭
조회를 요청하여야 한다. ③제2항에 따른 성범죄경력 조회의 요청 절차*범위 등에 관하여 필요한 사항은 대통령령으로 정한다."

But as the Yonhap news article you mention points out, the law is either pro forma and ignored by education employers or the criminal history records to be checked don't actually record the criminal history.

These facts and the recent case of "Min" argue strongly against Kim's assertion that the above law "totally bans Korean nationals with a history of sexual offenses from lecturing and getting any form of employment in youth education institutions."

matt said...

Ben, I hadn't read that article by Lee Bok-nam - good find - and nice research, as always.