Korean Middle School Student Reports Teacher to Police

Article from Yonhap News:

Why Did You Hit Me? Third Year Middle School Student Reports Homeroom Teacher for Hitting Him


A third year middle school student in Daegu reported his homeroom teacher to the police after being punished.

On the 18th, Homeroom teacher A was booked without detention by the Daegu Gangbuk Police Station for hitting the student.

Teacher A is suspected of hitting student B with a baton on his right arm and neck twice, and grabbing the right side of the student’s neck when the student was sleeping on his stomach and wouldn’t get up even when the bell had rang.

An official from the police department said “B came to the station himself to report it” and “we plan to investigate A’s motive for hitting B.”

Comments from Naver:


See what the result is of overindulging your children.


Wow…the prestige of educators has hit rock bottom.


He has no future…


If a third year middle school student has the guts of reporting it to the police, he must be a delinquent who ignores his own homeroom teacher or whoever. If you even have one of these students in your class, it affects the atmosphere of the class. It ruins the atmosphere of the whole grade level. Teachers must have a hard time sleeping at night, and be very stressed. The kids all study at the hagwon and sleep in class. In order to maintain educational authority, teachers should have the right to punish students. Would the teacher have hit him without first telling him? The problem was that the student didn’t listen when the teacher spoke to him. Teachers, hang in there. These kind of students? What are their parents doing?


In emphasizing true education, the students have finally become the masters…


Just sleep at home, why go to school?


If my kid was like this, I would hit them.


Fucking kid…you did something wrong so you got hit.


This country is going crazy…a social atmosphere that encourages defying educators is ruining kids like this.


Just get hit without saying anything. Strangely, I don’t feel wronged when a teacher hits me.


Report what you have to report you bastard…This dude would also report his mom to the police for shaking him awake in the morning and telling him to go to school…


This kind of student should just be suspended or expelled from school.


Why do you sleep so much? You gave the teacher a reason to hit you. If you were the teacher, would you just let it go without hitting him?

Share This Article
Help us maintain a vibrant and dynamic discussion section that is accessible and enjoyable to the majority of our readers. Please review our Comment Policy »
  • Koreancosmo

    Hitting a student with a baton just because he was sleeping?!?!?What is more shocking is once again the comments made..all taking the teacher’s side. I wonder will they say the same if the student getting “baton~smacked” was their kid.

    Education and viloence just do not walk hand-in-hand in my opinion. Whatever happened to counselling or a more tactful approach. Send the kid to detention after school if you have to, make him realise and reflect upon his mistake in detention…BATON? Seriously guys…

    • x1sfg

      I disagree. The comments support the teacher because yes, some people need to be beat. I don’t know the circumstances of the teacher and student, but corporal punishment, while not always the best solution every time, is the best solution at select times for select people. South Park had it down the best with their Ritalin episode.

      Look, kid, if you were over 50 in the US, or 40 in certain states, you were beat when you fucked up by a teacher. Many militaries still employ wall-to-wall counseling. That generation turned out better than say, your millenials. If the teacher hit any of my kids, I would ask him why. If it turned out my kids deserved it because they acted a fool, I’d thank him for it.

      Just for disclaimer purposes, I don’t condone domestic violence, especially towards kids. But I’m smart enough to know the difference between some whacks as corporal punishment and a beating. Society has gotten too soft as evident by koreancosmo’s whiny assitude.

      • Chucky3176

        Oh please.. the teacher lightly tapped the student and told him to wake up. He didn’t exactly clonk him over the head. The student wanted to be a smart ass, and went to the police, over a slight tap. You can’t touch the students anymore, even a slight bump or a short brushing touch, they’ll scream assault. Teachers give up discipling now.

        • David

          Also keep in mind that motivating students to learn is even more important for one big reason, they do not flunk students in the public school system. If the student does absolutly NO work all year, despite everything, the next year they move on to the next grade. In America and most western societies, if a student does not show a certain level of competence (usually minimal but something) in a subject, they must repeat it the next year. When I taught 11th grade U.S. history (a required class for all high schoolers to pass), I would always start the school by pointing out the few seniors in the class and asking them “Robert, I know you didn’t like history when you were a junior, how do you like taking the class as a senior?” They would always tell the juniors how terrible it is and how they really need to ass this year so they don’t have to come back. However, Korean students go from kindergarten to 12th grade with the same friends whether they are brilliant and hard working or lazy and stupid. they never fear being left behind and losing their friends.

          • Black_Plague

            “Korean students go from kindergarten to 12th grade with the same friends whether they are brilliant and hard working or lazy and stupid. they never fear being left behind and losing their friends.”

            So true. I swear, in 3rd year of middle school at Korea, there were truckloads of kids who didn’t even put any effort into studying, or even their exams for that matter. School seemed to be more like a daycare center or playground for them, never mind the countless times they got in trouble.

          • David

            yea, until they get to about 10th grade, of course then it is hard to catch up in two years before exams. This, of course, is about the students who don’t work hard, there are many many many who work REALLY hard and are wonderful students. .

      • Koreancosmo

        I get your point but still.. isnt corporal punishment kinda harsh for dozing off? Corporal punishment can be used on more serious cases, fights, smoking in the boysroom,etc.

        Interesting that you quote an episode from South Park to back things up though^^.

        • Black_Plague

          “isnt corporal punishment kinda harsh for dozing off? ”

          I’m fairly sure that students would be well aware of which of their teachers are willing to use corporal punishment or not. Some teachers use it over the smallest infractions, some use it appropriately, while others are either completely helpless or unwilling to use it for whatever reason.

        • russ

          Most of the teachers I know draw a clear line between students dozing and students that close their books lay down on their desk and sleep. But like I said earlier, it’s hard to know what actually happened here.

    • John I.B.C. Madison

      The translation is horrible.

      When you say “baton”, it’s easy to think of a police baton striking a protester’s head with full force. In a school context, it was most likely more of a hollow piece of wood that people use to point stuff on the corner of the chalk board.

      Second, from what’s been given in the article, the teacher most likely nudged the kid on the side with the said stick to wake him up.

      I’m no proponent of violence in the context of education, but that’s really nothing.Better than teachers being helpless to deal with a smart ass 14-year old cracking wise in the classroom like in the US because the worst they can do is, what, send them to detention?

      • Jang

        It doesn’t matter what the thing(Love Rod) was made of, the teacher hit the kid because he “loves” him. How stupid, stupid teacher and pro-violence comments. This is why so many Korean males beat their wives. Who will the teacher hit when he retires, oh yeah, his wife will get even more beating than she already does.

        • John I.B.C. Madison

          There exists different styles of discipline, and if you can’t accept that because it doesn’t bode well with your own sensibilities, then so be it. You can be “progressive” and “humane” all you want, but a little jab to the side is no senseless violence. You’re overreacting, plain and simple.

          And yes, let’s draw parallels between two ever so tenuously related situations. I mean, clearly, the reason domestic violence is so endemic in the US and Canada as it is elsewhere in the world is because teachers…. beat their students in school? LOL

    • russ

      The parents would never allow after school detention, because it would interfere with hagwon schedules. Not condoning violence, but I also seriously doubt the translation here. Not to mention the overall honesty of the Korean media’s reporting on educational matters.

  • commander

    From a western perspective valuing human rights and respecting students as individuals, it is inconceivable that the homeroom teacher hit a dozing off student during his class.

    Some would say that in that case the teacher should have waken him up and get him to put his hands up in the air out of the classroom as a punishment.

    The reality is that Korean teachers was given discretion to handle students who misbehave until all corporal punishments are prohibited at schools by some progressive education policy makers. (I am not sure whether the ban remains valid on a national level)

    Students who go to private education institutes called hagwon to learn ahead of a fixed school curriculum tend to ignore authority of some teachers who lack expertise in subjects on which they give lectures.

    (Of course, the student don’t seem to be studious enough to sleep during the class because he learned what is taught by his teacher at a hagwon.)

    The beating/reporting hoopla appears to be blamed on the student taking his teacher’s strokes personally and reporting it to the police in a fit.

    That doesn’t mean that all the faults are with the student.

    I think both of them are equally problematic.

    To explain the reactions online more critical toward the student, Korea has a long tradition of respecting teachers going as far as there is a saying, “Be careful not to step on the shade of a teacher.”

    Although the respect for teachers have been significantly diminished with credibility in public education visibly declining, there is a certain line in the mindset of Koreans that students should not cross.

    Reporting it to the police is arguably one of those lines. That’s why many online commentators are more critical about the student, though the teach also have his due of blame for this incident.

    • John I.B.C. Madison

      The ban was implemented in a piece-meal fashion, district by district. Some school districts still don’t have explicit policies forbidding corporal punishment, although students could still report their teachers to the police like this smart-ass in the article has done.

  • Chucky3176

    Perfect question.

    “Just sleep at home, why go to school?”

    The whole goal of the students here is to pass the university entrance exams, not really to learn anything.

    Study in private hagwons, but do get some sleep at home. So many Korean kids doze off in class because they’re so tired with extra private schoolings. So teachers look the other way, all forgiving of the sleeping students. Since the whole Korean education system is geared towards Students passing the university entrance exams, they should not be asked to attend government public schools. if they don’t want to. As long as they pass the university entrance exam (and that’s all that matters), who cares if they were educated under private or public schools?

    • David

      I hope it never comes to that. Home schooling is big in the United States but students actually take lessons in each subject and learn, not relax and then go to private lessons.

  • Chucky3176

    And before somebody start posting old Youtube videos of kids getting smacked around by teachers in classes, please be aware, all forms of corporal punishment including making them do the push ups and squat walks, are banned from Korean schools, starting in September 2013.


    • lets play titanic birches

      Since when has something like law stopped Kpreans from doing what they want?

    • Bulpin

      I’ve noticed that you often post about things that you know next to nothing about. When was the last time you were in a Korean classroom?
      It’s also illegal to drive through red lights, but that doesn’t seem to phase the millions of people who do it everyday.
      I have witnessed physical punishment in Korean classes, light, moderate and severe. There is certainly less of it now and this year i’ve only seen it a handful of times, but it happens.

  • Raymond

    What’s the big deal about sleeping in homeroom? There’s nothing to learn anyway, if anything it should be a resting period.

    • russ

      The homeroom in Korean schools is completely different than the western idea. All of the student’s classes happen in their homeroom. Often, the actual homeroom teacher is only called in after things have already gone tits up.

  • Eric0912

    I hope the translated comments didn’t reflect the real netizen opinion – but seeing the comments here at KB, I suspect they might. A teacher hits a kid (however lightly) and you blame the kid? Unbelievable. Maybe your old teachers beat you too hard for you to get it – or are you just seeking revenge? May you evolve before even thinking about raising kids of your own!

    • David

      I think you need to teach for a single day and see if your opinion changes. I went to Catholic school and was hit on a daily basis (i.e. actually beaten by nuns not ‘smacked’) It motivated me a lot. It is not usually the best answer today and hardly ever the only answer but sometimes it is what is needed. Until 35 years ago it was very common to use corporal punishment in school. Now we have schools full of kids in detentions who learn nothing and drop out. For 150 years of public education and 2000 years of private education before that it was used. It was good enough for Einstein, Plato, Newton and Hume but not your kid? BTW in the school I teach now there is no detention and no flunking kids, so what is to be their punishment?

      • Eric0912

        You’re kidding me, right? And at what age does it stop being appropriate and healthy to get beaten? Have you passed that age yourself, or can I smack you into agreeing? Do you believe that prisons generate law abiding citizens too?

        If you’re a teacher and needs to beat your kids for them to listen to you, then maybe you should work on your communication and teaching skills. Seriously.

        • David

          awwww another none teacher telling a teacher how to teach, so much credibility.

          • Eric0912

            But you do know the exact age limit, right?

            Teacher? No. The person who’d pay your salary? Yes. I’m sure you’d agree that there were a lot of things that “worked well for 2,000 years” that we don’t find appropriate today. Not all countries allows beating up children (their bodies lack in development too), and not all those countries have failed educational systems.

          • ryan927

            You can’t claim ad hominem right after you just ad hominemed someone. Just because you may be a teacher doesn’t mean non-teachers can’t tell you something about teaching either. Also, a model that worked for 2000 years? WTF, modern public education (at least in the US) is only like 150 years old. Secondly, I don’t know what EDU classes you took to get your certificate, but my EDU classes laid out in detail just how shitty the educational system (inclusive of, but not limited to, punishment) has needed serious overhauls, especially during the last half of the 20th century.
            The reason corporal punishment and yelling works in your mind has little to do with age, and more to do with how you handle a classroom. If you have to lead through imposing fear by way of hitting/yelling, then you either work in the shittiest district imaginable or you just aren’t capable of classroom management to begin with.
            Lastly, I think the biggest WTF idea you had is that you think it’s silly to try and talk to children like you can talk to adults. Seriously, you need to get out of education if you think it’s silly to talk to kids and try to work out problems. 90% of problems in my classes can be worked through by sitting down with the kid and going over what’s wrong and providing a layout of incentives/consequences. The other 10% I just hit the kid rigorously. J/k, I’m not stuck in the 19th century like you seem to be. I just take the worst kids up to administration and have them deal with it or deal with the parents directly.

  • D Johnson

    I taught in a private school in Seoul, Sung-shin Elementary, for two years, winding up a 12 year teaching career in Korea. A hand full of my students were lazy, undisciplined and begging for trouble. I kept wrapped cookies to reward the hard working students. Once I caught a few male students stealing them out of my basket. When confronted their response was, “What are you going to do about it?” with a big kiss my ass smile. Their parents were incapable of doing anything except making excuses for them. Their punishment? A big warning not to do it again.

    • Abdiel Lawrence

      12 years? Damn, and I thought 3 years was enough.

      • D Johnson

        I was a glutton for punishment?

  • Black_Plague

    Back when I was at Korea from 07 to 09, I’ve seen a lot of students hit with books, rulers, canes and in one particular case, a thin iron rod of the sort (IMO, the most painful experience as far as corporal punishment is concerned), and this particular case doesn’t really surprise me either. Some obviously didn’t deserve it, though at the same time, there were also others that did.

    That being said, there seems to be a bit of a mistranslation. At least from my experience, I don’t recall teachers in Korea carrying batons – or rather, not the kind of ones that you’d see from a police officer or military personnel. If they punish someone, it was typically a ruler or some short wooden stick of the sort, and that was likely what was used.

    Worst seen was probably when the PE teacher thwacked the asses of male students caught smoking with what looked like a big wooden plank, or something along those lines.

    Good memories. Ha. Amazing how things changed so fast in just half a decade.

  • Sean

    The comments that supported the teacher are deluded. If you think that the Korean education system is something worthwhile, then you are insane. It is far from effective. The Korean education system is horribly inefficient, so much so, that people are willing to pay 32k a year to put their kids through western style education. He probably fell asleep because he is human, and worked too god damn hard. Your nation needs to wake up when it comes to education.

  • rg

    The sad thing is that most of the Koreans above support the teacher. The reason the education is crap in Korea, and there are a bunch of adult children running around, with no respect for each other, is due to the crap education, and the teachers are at the root of it. And yet, many parents blame the teacher when their kid doesn’t get into prestigious universities/classes, etc. Even if the kid was sleeping at class, why was it? Because of being pushed too much. Sad.

    Shame on not only the teacher, but shame on all the Koreans above supporting him. Shame.

  • 금정산

    Abolition of corporal punishment was a move in the right direction, the problem is it wasn’t replaced with other means of punishment.

    Teachers don’t know how to/lack the skills to control the students and serve them with proper punishment. This is also true for many parents. Few people have the skills to talk to children and work through an issue. Parents learn how to parent from how they were raised. Teachers mostly learn how to discipline from how they were disciplined as students. Take away the old methods without replacing them with new forms of discipline, and you have a generation of disrespectful and selfish brats.

    It’s much easier to hit a child and get them to behave… but what we really do need to is improve the authoritative disciplinary skills of adults. This is more important than giving children expensive headphones or whatever – so we should give children more love in the form of discipline and attention… And stop expecting schools to discipline kids. It starts at home.

  • Balkan

    I think the kid was right. Teachers should not have right to abuse students and, from my experience with Koreans, those teachers can be very violent.

  • Xio Gen

    The fact that these Koreans don’t see anything wrong with a teacher hitting a student is worrying. Doesn’t matter if the kid was being defiant, that doesn’t give you the excuse to hit them. Call security or the principal.

  • Guy Forget

    While I’m against physical abuse (hitting, slapping, any thing of that sort) from teacher to student or student to teacher, to call the cops and get someone convicted of a crime and ruin their life over a slap or a punch is just stupid and wrong. If that’s the case, EVERY SINGLE PARENT in this world should be arrested and put in jail because I guarantee you at one point in your life, your parents or grandparents smacked you on the head or the body or someplace and that could be warranted as child abuse and put them in jail. What a ridiculous sensitive wimpy people this world is becoming. That’s why there are no more men in this world. We can’t take a punch and wipe our noses and stand up again a stronger man? Instead, we gotta moan and writhe about it, cry to our parents, and call the cops. This is exactly the same thing as when we have the everyday common cold and we have to go to the doctors to get antibiotics for it. By doing this, we are essentially making life worse! If you got a cold, tough it through you wuss. Go to bed, gargle some water, eat some ginger, and be a effin man! Don’t go to the doctor’s to get antibiotics just because u got a scratch or a sniffle.

    It’s also the same principle behind diving and fake injuries in soccer. It ruins the game when so many people flop and fake injuries holding their faces with both hands when they got kicked in the shins. Wat the hell? See, I’m against actual illegal tackles and irresponsible hits in soccer, but the pendulum is swinging waaaaay too far the other side now when we start to fake injuries and flop to get calls, and it ruins the game. A match is often decided by a cheat play like that. That’s what we are doing in our own societies today when we become over concerned about discipline and touching, that now we are a touchless society and a muted society where if u hint at anything that is distasteful to say, it becomes a crime. again I say, WTH.

Personals @ chinaSMACK - Meet people, make friends, find lovers? Don't be so serious!»