Teachers who were disciplining children were being reported for child abuse. South Korea has passed a bill to ensure the well-being of teachers.
Teachers have the sole responsibility of framing children to be future adults. This involves far more than imparting education. Educators are tasked with teaching children about the world, helping shape their character and so on. However, despite the frivolous efforts put in by teachers, they are far from recognition and respect. On the contrary, they are spoken down to, mistreated and sometimes even abused. South Korea has decided to take action on these issues by passing a new law to protect teachers. The article reports that abuse and mistreatment of teachers have been a rising problem in the country and the world, per BBC News.
Teachers in South Korea have staged a mass walkout in protest at widespread harassment by overbearing parents and unruly students, which has led to some staff taking their own lives. https://t.co/X11kkeidbk pic.twitter.com/VvdL5HQrCQ— Katherine Stiles (@_K_Stiles) September 4, 2023
Many have forgotten the value and importance of an educator and are taking it for granted. Teachers had complaints of being disrespected and abused simply for reprimanding or restraining a child from violence and unwanted behavior. There had been a long protest for 9 weeks where teachers all over the country demanded rights and respect. The article shared that the law passed in 2014 which declared suspension of teachers who abuse children was maliciously used by parents to cruelly punish teachers for doing their jobs. The exploitation became so unbearable that a 23-year-old primary school teacher committed suicide due to complaints from parents.
South Korea passes law to protect teachers' rights following mass protests sparked by suicide of a young teacher in her classroom pic.twitter.com/RWz55390XT— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) September 22, 2023
The parents had turned into bullies for teachers with exaggerated complaints calling the act of disciplining child abuse. Thousands of teachers rose to protest after this to retaliate. To assist and adhere to teachers’ pleas, a new bill called the ‘Teacher’s Rights Restoration’ came into effect. @lixi32730051 shared a post on Twitter that mentioned that 200,000 teachers were present in Seoul for the protest. This bill ensures that teachers are not suspended on complaints of abuse until further notice and an investigation is thoroughly carried out on the matter. The law also ensures financial provisions for teachers to file their lawsuits and get an equal say in the matter.
#Breaking 200,000 teachers in #SouthKorea protest in #Seoul : dressed in black and holding signs demanding rights defense.— Journalist Lixy (@lixi32730051) September 3, 2023
The protest was linked to the suicide of an elementary school teacher in his 20s in Seoul in July. pic.twitter.com/zU4bPv7MMt
Teachers in South Korea are extremely grateful for the new bill. They have said that it enhances the right to teach and protects children’s welfare. The teachers shared another concern about the irrelevant complaints that children were not getting disciplined enough, pointing towards the insecure future they hold with a lack of morals and values which are primarily learned during school years. The article reported that there were other guidelines issued by the local authorities that allowed them to restrain children who were being problematic in the classrooms. However, with the legal force added to the new bill, there are more hopeful results to achieve.
Tens of thousands of teachers in South Korea held another large-scale protest in front of the country's National Assembly today, demanding better protection of their rights, including from abusive parents. pic.twitter.com/6G91g96rcX— Raphael Rashid (@koryodynasty) September 16, 2023
The chairperson of the Korean Federation of Teachers' Unions, Kim Yong-seo, says that the new bill is “a great step forward in protecting teachers and students." However, he also mentioned that there is still room for improvement. He also requested that the disciplining of children not be counted as child abuse. Kim Jin-seo, a 28-year-old teacher, said, “The new law would not stop unfounded reports of child abuse because without repercussions parents would continue to maliciously accuse teachers they did not like.”