Lee Dong-kwan, a special assistant to the Presidential Office for Foreign Affairs, who had not officially responded to allegations of his son’s involvement in school violence, issued a clarification to the media on the 8th and began an active public opinion battle.
“I have been refraining from responding to various allegations against me while I have not been nominated as a candidate for public office because I believe it is not proper or appropriate for a person in authority to do so,” he said. “However, I decided that I could no longer remain silent in the face of indiscriminate ‘carder’ style accusations, which have been distorted and exaggerated and are being widely reproduced through the media and social media, even by the leader of the opposition.”
However, the position paper fails to address the core allegations, which include Hanagoe’s failure to hold an autonomous committee on school violence, which is required under the Prevention of School Violence Act, and the fact that the case was ultimately resolved with a transfer without a committee, and that no disposition related to school violence was recorded in the student affairs department, thus avoiding penalties in the admissions process.
No problem according to the guidelines for responding to bullying? No, but there is a clear violation of the bullying law.
Allegations of school violence against Lee’s son first surfaced in 2012. The special assistant’s son, who was a student at Hanago at the time, was allegedly violent toward his classmates, which became publicized when students complained to teachers. Hanago ended up transferring the special assistant’s son. However, Hanago’s action has been controversial as it violated the Prevention of School Violence Act, which requires a school council to be opened in the event of school violence.
However, the special advisory did not mention “violation of the Bullying Prevention Act” at all in the explanatory materials distributed to the media today. Rather, it claimed that there was no problem with the rally not being held under the Basic Guidelines for Responding to School Violence. “At the time, the ‘Basic Guidelines for Responding to School Violence’ stipulated that ‘if the offending student immediately admits to the wrongdoing and asks the victim for reconciliation, and the victim agrees to reconciliation,’ the homeroom teacher can resolve the matter on his or her own,” the correspondent wrote.
However, Hanago’s handling of the situation was clearly in violation of the law. The Bullying Act, which came into effect in January 2012, requires that a bullying committee must be held to discuss school violence when it is reported or discovered that it has occurred (Article 13, paragraph 2).
In 2015, Mr. Chung Ah-moo-gae, a vice principal who was the chairman of Hanago’s bullying committee at the time, appeared before the National Assembly’s National Audit Committee and replied, “I did not hold a bullying meeting,” in response to a question from Representative Chung Jin-hoo of the Justice Party. The responsible parties themselves admitted to violating the law. In particular, the fact that Hanago followed the Basic Guidelines for Responding to Bullying does not excuse the offense.
Furthermore, in 2012메이저사이트, the Lee Myung-bak administration repeatedly stated through the Comprehensive Plan to Eradicate School Violence that it would open a bullying committee to handle bullying cases. Lee, who was a high-ranking official in the regime at the time, could be held morally responsible. In its complaint, the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education wrote, “The vice principal (Hanago) knew that the perpetrator was a high-ranking child and used his position as the chairman of the bullying committee to prevent the bullying committee from carrying out its duties by not deliberating on the matter.”
The letter emphasized that Vice Principal Hanago was charged with obstruction of justice at the time, but was acquitted. There were many voices criticizing the prosecution’s poor investigation at the time.
The fact that Kim Gak-young, a lawyer who served as the 32nd Prosecutor General of Korea, was appointed as the chairman of Hanago a month before the Seoul Western District Prosecutors’ Office acquitted the case also raises suspicions.
Transferring to a new school is a severe punishment? No record in the student affairs department and disadvantage in college admissions
Hana High School in Eunpyeong-gu, Seoul.
ⓒ Kwon Woo-sung
At the time, Lee explained that his son’s transfer was “a severe disciplinary measure, one step below expulsion.” However, Hana High did not open the case and did not make any record in the student record book. The special assistant’s son was later admitted to a prestigious private university in Seoul through the college entrance examination program.
Some admissions experts believe that it would have been more difficult for him to get into the school if his record had remained open. Even if the transfer is nominally a severe punishment, it is also pointed out that transferring to a new school to escape the actual assault is the most favorable disposition for the perpetrator in an assault case.
Nevertheless, in a statement issued on the same day, the special advisory emphasized that “if the students of Jasago were transferred to a general high school, they would be at a significant disadvantage in university admissions due to the school’s completely different curriculum, so they requested a transfer after completing the first semester, which was not accepted by the school and was accepted without objection.”
Why only mention one victim when there were several?
The advisory mentions “Student B,” the victim, to emphasize that there was nothing wrong with the school’s handling of her child’s assault.
“My child and Student B are close friends who have remained in contact with each other since high school,” he said, “a situation that would be unthinkable if he had been a victim of abuse.” However, at least two other students are known to have been victimized by the Special Advisor’s son, and at least two other victims are named in the affidavit.
The Special Assistant’s explanation leaves out key details, such as the existence of other victims and whether they have reconciled, and emphasizes only one case of reconciliation. This is why the explanation of “I’m getting along with one student, so there’s no problem” is not convincing.