South Korean teachers protest suicide deaths linked to parent bullying

Seoul, Sep 4 (EFE).- Tens of thousands of South Korean teachers flooded the streets in Seoul on Monday to demand more protection from the government amid a rise in suicides linked to bullying from parents.

The rally was called for as a tribute to a 23-year-old primary school teacher who died by suicide in July after suffering from depression and the alleged harrasment of parents of students she taught during a school violence case.

Since her death, however, another two teachers also died by suicide last week in similar circumstances.

Thousands of teachers dressed in black gathered on Monday in front of Seoul’s National Assembly and called on the government to investigate the three deaths and urged a review of a controversial 2014 child welfare law.

The law means teachers can be charged with child abuse if they take disciplinary action in the classroom, such as raising their voice, expelling or punishing a student or restraining a pupil who is displaying a violent attitude.

The law also means that any teacher accused of abuse is immediately suspended from their duties and salary.

According to the rally’s organizers, teachers are exposed to the abusive behavior of students and parents, who in many cases have taken teachers to court.

The education ministry had asked the union that summoned the protest not to demonstrate on Monday and threatened to take reprisals against all those who take part in the rally.

The huge rally comes after some 200,000 teachers demonstrated in Seoul Saturday to demand an improvement to their professional environment.EFE


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