Students Make Teacher Kneel and Apologise to Class

This is not the first case where a student defies teacher authority

Not the first case of a student defying the teacher's authority

The Korean educational system has been under fire for some time now – with cases of school bullying, suicide, and violence against students often making headline news. But recently there has been a reversal of roles, where students retaliate against their teachers.

Many see the new trend not only as a complete breakdown of school authority, but also of societal values – Korea having for so long placed heavy importance on social-rank relationships, especially that between student and teacher. This week was exemplary of this so-called breakdown. A middle school teacher uses both a slim and chubby student within the classroom in an attempt to demonstrate the theory of gravity – furious students demanding the teacher kneel down to the floor and apologize for their unscrupulousness. The story has gone viral, becoming the most discussed of the week, attracting a cumulative of well over ten thousand comments from all three major Korean portal websites.

The act of going down on one’s knees in the East Asia is deemed as shameful and the last resort to ask for forgiveness, as both koreaBANG and chinaSMACK have covered before.

From Newsis:

‘Collapse of Teacher’s Authority’ – Middle School Girls Make Teacher Kneel

An incident involving middle school girls and their teacher during class is stirring up worries about infringement of teacher’s authority. The students pointed out their teacher’s mistakes, making the teacher kneel and apologise.

On the 17th of May, at a middle school in Eumseong, South Chungcheong Province, a science teacher was teaching a class on the law of gravity.

The teacher called out a fat student and a slim one to the front of the class, in order to help the class understand the principle of gravity more easily.

The teacher told the two students to hold hands and pull each other apart, and the slimmer student was dragged towards the other student.

The teacher explained the phenomenon using the principle of gravity; a smaller force gets pulled towards to a larger force.

That brought the trouble. The fat student burst into tears with humiliation from the teacher’s explanation, causing a clamor in the class.

Moreover a student stood up to press the teacher to apologise, followed by most other students demanding the teacher to kneel as well as make an apology.

Panicking at the sudden response and aggressive demands of the students, the teacher eventually kneeled down and apologised to the fat student and the rest of the class in a desperate attempt to fix the situation.

This incident rapidly went viral, reaching the parents via students as well as throughout the school.

Every parent who knew about the incident is worrying about the collapse of teacher’s rights, saying it is preposterous to ask a teacher to kneel down and apologise, whatever mistake he or she has made.

‘This is over the bound, even in the modern world,’ a parent said, ‘it is sad to see the school education system is going backwards and the teacher’s authority collapsing.’

An official at the Eumseong Educational Support Office reported that the students demanded an apology as a joke, and that the teacher looked like kneeling down when in fact bending to look at the crying student in the face.

‘We will verify what exactly happened and then discuss appropriate measures,’ the official added.

Comments from Daum:


Don’t blame others. Parents are at blame the most.


The teacher should have explained it in a more sensible way, as the students are in their puberty… but still… the students obviously went too far


These days you’ll feel sorry if you treat students as students. Not all, but many students look just like trash to me.


It was potentially a humiliating situation… but did they really have to go that far… hope the students get children just like themselves…

Bodhi tree:

The teacher did make a mistake. But the greatest blame goes to the parents. They really overindulge their children, now that most families have just one child or two children. My three-year-old son is soft-natured so has never hit anyone but still gets smacked often. But most of the parents scold their children only very lightly. They don’t ever do anything other than say ‘no, you shouldn’t do that~~’ in a really cute way. Same goes for everyhing else [in discipline of the children], so it’s not surprising the children grow audacious.


Gwak No-hyeon [the educational superintendent], you dirty son of a bitch, are you watching this!!!


What a wonderful world. It’s obvious what will become of it now.


Both the teacher and the students were at fault… but still… girls… don’t smirk at the memory of this incident when you become adults


Churning out nothing but trash…


Hah.. my heart feels heavy


It’s alright… Those bitches will get it all back from bitches just like them…


Parents, earth your heads


I’m at a loss with words at the official’s busy attempts to cover the scandal in whatever way possible.


The Korean Teachers Union…No-Hyeon Gwak, you sobs!!!


Suspend all the phucking brats. These bitches will even make their mom kneel when she makes a mistake


Why are the students so sensitive?


Teachers in the old days would get the bribes from parents and whip the students anyway, and the students who got whipped then grew up to become young teachers only to get smacked by the kids. A beautiful country this is, ke ke ke ke


Must you explain a scientific principle by humiliating students about their body shape?


The teacher is at faultㅡㅡ Couldn’t you explain the law of gravity with objects weighing different?ㅡㅡ Body shape is a personal worry for fat and small students, so you shouldn’t play jokes with thatㅡㅡ You wouldn’t feel nice to make a joke out of your weaknesses. Of course the teacher had to apologise, it’s nonsense that it infringes upon teacher’s authorityㅡㅡ so should a student stay quiet when the teacher makes an upsetting remark about one’s weaknesses?ㅡㅡ


Not any old incident can be seen as infringement on teacher’s authority. Then can you recover the authority by giving them a good beating? The students did go over the bound, but you can’t talk about violation of authority without making an accurate explanation of the situation. Teachers should behave like teachers, as much as students should behave like students.

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