Accused of Admissions Fraud, Vice Principal Commits Suicide

Young Hoon International Middle School, one of the most prestigious international schools in South Korea, has become the scene of a tragedy after the vice principal killed himself following an investigation into admissions fraud. In early March of this year, it was reported that the son of Lee Jae-yong, vice president of Samsung Electronics, was accepted to the school under a special admissions category for underprivileged students, typically the children of single parents, multicultural students, defectors, or other “special consideration” groups.
Since Lee Jae-yong was divorced from his wife, his son was technically the child of a single parent. However, as public opinion has turned against the special admissions process, the office of the Seoul Metropolitan Department of Education started an investigation, which finally classified the situation as a case of “falsified test scores”. Meanwhile, since the case has expanded and grown more serious, many people have been demanding that the educational system of international middle schools should be reformed.

	YoungHoon International Middle School welcomed the son of Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics while blocking other common students’ admissions.

YoungHoon International Middle School welcomed the son of Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics while blocking other ordinary students’ admissions.

Article from SBS:

“I was wrong,” YoungHoon Vice Principal Hangs Himself

The vice president who committed suicide was being investigated by prosecutors on suspicion of falsifying admission test records to grant enrollment to unqualified students in the 2013 academic year.

On May 20th, Jo Seung-hyun, an officer of the Seoul Metropolitan Department of Education, said that three people, including the vice principal, head of the admission department, and the chief of school affairs took the lead role in falsifying test records.

Young Hoon maintains a number of special admissions slots for underprivileged students, which have a different criteria from general admissions. The three school officials under investigation gave three unqualified students a perfect score in order to grant them enrollment as underpriviliged students. In addition, they subtracted points from qualified students in order to make spots available.

Police presumed that after the investigation expanded in 2010, the vice principal felt emotional pressure on being accused of manipulating school records.

Furthermore, he seemed to be intimidated after the chief of administration was arrested and indicted on suspicion of receiving 90 million won (about $78,159) from students’ parents in return for enrollment at Young Hoon International Middle School.

According to a student’s mother, she got a call from the school, which asked her to pay twenty million won ($17,368.) to the development fund in order to guarantee her child’s enrollment. According to word of mouth, twenty million won is the unofficial price for admission to Young Hoon Elementary and Middle School.

Prosecutors said they obtained a number of pieces of meaningful evidence relating to the admission fraud, and they have no intention to change the direction of investigation despite the suicide of vice principal.

Also, Kim Ha-jung, chairman of the board of the affiliated Young Hoon Hagwon, will be summoned to testify this week for accusations of contributing to the admission fraud.

younghoon pic3

Comments from Twitter:


In the end, he didn’t take responsibility for what he did. He couldn’t deny the admissions fraud any more. He might think that suicide was the last option for him, but it didn’t mean the end of the situation…Well, I don’t know what to say..


So the vice president of the school which is under investigation for corruption committed suicide “in the school”? Was it suicide, or was it murder?


I bet tomorrow’s atmosphere in the school will be a mess.


The almighty dollar! Lee Jae-yong, a son of Lee Kun-hee, the chairman of Samsung made the vice principal commit suicide. Samsung killed him.


I feel bad for the students who got shocked and traumatized. I think it is okay to say this incident makes me question the purpose of the school itself. If it stays open, it will have a negative impact on the students. Superintendent of Education Moon Yong-rin should abolish the system of international middle schools right now.


Even while he was dying, he didn’t confess his sin but rather told a lie: ‘I did it for our school.’ He was definitely beyond redemption.


The news about the suicide of the vice principal of Young Hoon International Middle School.. How many lives must be sacrificed for the sake of Korean competitive education? Yoo yoo.


Aren’t International middle schools built for foreign student? This is like building an “intergalactic middle school” and waiting for aliens to apply.

Comments from Nate:


They are international in name only. We already know whose sons and daughters entered those schools and what they do. ke ke


Young Hoon students must have been proud of themselves when they entered the best school.. But they finally realized their school uniforms mean nothing after the admission fraud came out to the public.. Now that school crest has become a scarlet letter

kkii**** :

I think this international school system should be removed because if it exists, the bad image related to this case will always follow the students.

kard**** :

Parents and school authorities should be responsible for everything. All authorities including permission and guidance organizations have to share a common responsibility for school administration.

real**** :

Frankly speaking, the biggest losers here are the students of Young Hoon Middle School. They just went to school “normally” before, but now are branded with admission fraud and try to attend class in the totally devastated school. How sad.


The naïve students from a poor and weak family who dreamed of entering the international middle school are being completely ignored.

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