Teacher Convicted for Bullying Mixed-Raced Student

Article from Yonhap News:

“Fool” “You’re half Korean so why can’t you eat Kimchi?” A teacher was convicted guilty for saying these harsh words

Teacher Blamed Student For Not Eating Kimchi2

An elementary school teacher was found guilty for saying inappropriate words that broke a student’s heart.

It is the first time that what the teacher said at school is accepted as emotional abuse and is convicted guilty. Thus, this verdict is expected to have a considerable influence on the educational environment from now on.

On the 12th of January, Ji Gyui-yeon, a judge of Suwon regional court, announced that a teacher was indicted without detention and fined 3 million won on the charge of violating child welfare law by saying something to harm a young student’s mental health.

Teacher “A” is a homeroom teacher of 13-year old students in Suwon. Lily, daughter of a Canadian father and a Korean mother, was in the class. Last year this teacher let the whole class say out loud, “Lily is a fool” three times for the reason that Lily’s many questions harmed the educational atmosphere.

In June, the teacher found out that Lily didn’t eat kimchi at school lunch. In the midst of other students, she blamed Lily saying “You’re half Korean so why can’t you eat kimchi? If you keep doing this, do you think your future mother-in-law will be happy?”

Besides, Teacher A asked students to raise their hands if they were going to private after-school institutes. And then she pointed at Lily and said, “You’re the one who screws her parents out of their money.”**

{ **literal translation: 등골을 빼먹다 – ‘to eat the backbone’ meaning when someone is taking as much as they can from others by exploiting them.}

Lily told her parents about how the teacher treated her. Lily’s parents reported the teacher to the police. Lily has since been receiving mental health treatment for an adjustment disorder.

The judge stated as reasoning for the guilty conviction that, “the fact is accepted that the teacher left this multicultural child heartbroken. This is a child society is supposed to embrace and to walk alongside.”

But the judge added, “[the teacher] didn’t seem to get a chance as an educator to prepare the right attitude toward multicultural children. And as the teacher promised to be responsible, I sentenced a fine appropriate for the crime.

The prosecution asked for 10 months of prison labor, a sentence that wouldn’t allow the teacher to return to work, lodged an appeal stating the judge assessed the case wrongfully. Once the fine penalty is confirmed, the teacher may remain in the profession.

Kwak Geum-ju, a professor of psychology at Seoul National University, estimated that, “Verbal bullying can harm much more seriously than physical violence, however, there is a lack of awareness that words themselves can constitute violence. I hope this judgement will be a way to inform people that they should not speak so bluntly.”

But Lily’s mother expressed her dissatisfaction to Yonhap News about the result of the trial saying, “I didn’t get a proper apology from the teacher. I know that anyone can make mistakes. However, if this is someone who can’t apologize for what they have done, I don’t think it’s right that they continue working as a teacher.”

Teacher “A” told YonhaP News, “At that time I thought I said it as a kind of joke. Looking back, I know now that children can’t handle those comments. I didn’t say it with any malice, and I think I gave my sincere apology to the kid and her parents.”

Comments from Naver:


Is it that hard to find a better teacher, so that teacher has to stay? We should cut out the rotten pieces immediately.


She let the whole class shout “Lily is an idiot”… Isn’t that bullying? Is her mind appropriate for being a teacher?


Aren’t we supposed to teach a humanistic style of education to elementary and kindergarten school teachers? According to how they teach, the life of their students can go many ways.


I will never understand why she acted like that.


She is just insane…


I read this case few months ago and now the judgement has been made. If she said those bullshit comments as a joke, regardless of her being guilty or not, not only is she unqualified as a teacher, but also a shit person.


I assume that a teacher was annoyed with a kid asking questions constantly during the class, so the kid got bullied…Is it okay to let her keep working as a teacher after giving her a 3 million won fine penalty? Is the judge crazy? At least the prosecution can think right.. Reveal the teacher’s real name! Suwon is my neighboring town, f***.


I have heard that there are a lot of people on the waiting list after passing the teacher’s exam. Fire that kind of shit teacher as there are plenty of people who can be substituted. How is it possible to call somebody a fool for asking lots of questions? To ask a lot of questions isn’t a current trend? An educational environment still remains that of the 1980s.


Teacher A, imagine your kid experienced the same thing like Lily. I don’t think that you’re mature like others your age and I doubt whether you’re qualified as a teacher. I figure you’re the one who became a teacher just by rote memorization, so step down from teaching. Well, if she had already known, she would have not said like that. She’s not even qualified to be an adult, even less so a teacher.


I cannot possibly understand the standards of weighing of an offense by the shit judges. If somebody swears to your parents, are you guys going to sentence them like that?


There are a lot of Koreans who can’t eat kimchi. Is she really encouraging that stereotype?


I don’t eat kimchi and I’m Korean, not mixed blood. To choose a teacher like that proves that the educational system has a problem.


Just fire that bitch and keep her from teaching.


An idiot who has personal disorder with a lack of personality is teaching students. A country that can’t recognize just one bad teacher.. If the Korean education is just like this, Korea is in the situation that nobody knows what will happen. In other words, Youngdong bridge full of fog.


It is surprising to see that there is a that kind of teacher at school. I wish there were a system in place for someone to monitor classes regularly, receive feedback from students and then educate problematic teachers or kick them out.


Look at that kimchi bitch working as teacher, tut tut.


It isn’t easy to be a teacher these days. Reveal the personal information of those kind of shit people and fire them.

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“Too many questions from Lily harmed the study atmosphere…” An educational culture that treats a student asking questions like a criminal.


The fine is too weak! If the money goes up to one hundred million, there won’t be any cases like this anymore.


Children, shout out a teacher is a fool. Shit sods can’t be teachers. Please fire the superintendent Lee Jae-jeong.

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