Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Native Korean Speaking Teachers Are Sexual Predators

Of course this is not true.  The title of this post is horrible thing to say.  However, there is a growing movement amongst Korean netizens to demonize native English speaking teachers for the actions of a microscopic few.  I argue the same horrible standard can be applied to Korean teachers.  Gusts of Popular Feelings has some posts of late about native English speaking teachers being treated as an entire group as sexual predators (here) and (here).  I try not to let it bother me, but I do not like being targeted.

It was national news this week that a Korean middle school teacher had sex with one of her 15 year old students.  (source here)
A 33-year-old female middle school teacher has been found having inappropriate relationship with one of her pupils. According to Gangseo Police Station in Seoul, the contract female teacher allegedly had sex with a 15-year-old student in her car at an underground park last week. 
The teacher, who has worked at the school for more than a year, is married and has two children attending elementary schools, police said. 
The relationship was revealed by the student’s mother, when she saw a text message between her son and the homeroom teacher. 
The mother reported it to the police, but the police said they terminated the investigation as the two had sex under mutual consent and there was therefore no legal grounds to punish the teacher. 
The current law punishes only adults having sex with those aged under 13. However, the school plans to fire the teacher for the unethical relationship. 
The incident is causing a huge stir on the Internet, with some netizens demanding the teacher be prosecuted.
Some netizens were already disseminating the teacher’s personal information, with the school’s homepage inundated with critical comments.
Wow, there was a lot that needed to be bolded in this article.  First, you read that correct, the age of consent to have mutual sex is 13 years old.  That is disgusting.  Even more disturbingly, this does not appear to be young enough for some Korean men.

It is also really sad that this woman has two small children and they have to suffer through this national embarrassment.  Likewise, this boy now has to keep going to school everyday when everyone he has ever met knows what he has done.  I imagine this will effect his studies.

I am also interested if the fact that this was a female teacher that had sex with a male student if that is why there will be no criminal prosecution.  What if a male teacher was the one who had sex with a female student?  Would they have said then that it could not have been consensual?  Would a prosecution have gone forward then?

This reminds me of an episode of South Park that was created in response to a national scandal in America in which a gorgeous 25 year old female teacher, Debra LaFave, had sex with a male 14 year old student and the authorities declined to prosecute her.  Many people back then joked that the boy was a hero because the teacher was so "hot".

South Park took that scenario to absurd levels and created an episode where Ike, a boy in kindergarten, had sex with his teacher and authorities did not take it serious because it was a younger guy scoring with an attractive older woman.

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