In South Korea, the phrase “요즘 애들 무서워” (the kids are scary these days) has become a defining slogan for the young generation. The sentiment emerged once again after news broke at the end of August that a high school student and his peers beat a middle school student to death after they heard that he was dating a girl whom the older student liked. News reports featured CCTV footage of the older students carrying the victim into the parking garage and trying to wake him, to no effect. Online, the tragedy fueled the regular debate about why young people these days seem depraved and violent in a way different from all previous generations.
Article from SBS:
Middle School Student Dies in Gang Beating Triggered by Rumor
(Transcript of news report)
A basement garage in an apartment in Incheon.
A large group of students come with one being carried on another’s back.
They lay him on the floor and try to administer first aid, but he doesn’t regain consciousness.
The incident began with a false rumor.
A high school freshman called the middle school student to meet him at this apartment building.
The high school student had heard that the younger boy was dating a girl he liked and began to beat him.
A student witness: “It was because of rumors.”
Reporter: “Did you meet the girl?”
Student: “Yes, I met the girl he liked.”
13 middle school students observed the beating, some took part, the rest just watched.
There were numerous witnesses, but none of them made anyone aware of it.
A representative from the apartment: “It takes one hour to make a complete patrol of the apartment complex, so then it must have all happened within one hour right here…”
The victim’s mother: (at the hospital) “They said they tried to shake my son awake, but he didn’t respond.”
Police have filed charges with prosecutors against a student with the last name of Kim, who is alleged to have led the violence, as well as another student.
However, the family of the deceased student have demanded that the other students who participated in the crime should also be punished.
Comments from Facebook:
Ah, the interview with the victim’s mother.. Really, kids who would do something like this are highly likely to go on to do even more serious crimes when they grow older unless they are stopped now.. We must send the people who beat him to prison.. They beat him with the intent to kill, why does it matter how old they are…
Those who just stood by and watched should also be carted off to jail– Anyway the laws in our country are useless. Will the children of National Assembly members have to die in order to see the law change? Underage and drunk offenders can get away damn easily.
Goddammit, seeing shit like this makes me so frustrated. They call them human beings?
Stuff like this comes out every day and what do they do about it? It just keeps going on, but the idiots in charge just care about protecting their position and don’t do anything. No wonder we end up looking like a backward, developing country.
It wasn’t even over a girlfriend, just a girl he liked.. Don’t excuse them just because they are young. The kids who beat them, the ones who watched. Punish them all so this won’t happen again.
And they are still being treated as children?? They should be treated like adults. When I was young, people also talked about how kids were bad, but the young people nowadays are just in another league altogether. Even during our day, if an adult scolded us, we wouldn’t talk back to them. But now adults are too scared to say a word to young people.
Do you think they will live their lives miserably with the memory of what they did? Bullshit. They would feel sorry only after they grow old, have a child, and have that child be beaten.
JiEun Mindy Kim:
Crazy bastard, if he liked the girl, then he should have solved the problem with her in the first place. Why did he have to take it out on the boy… Son of a bitch…The Youth Protection Act is crap… What about the victim who couldn’t be protected? All rotten..