Eight out of 10 middle and high schools nationwide were found to have been maintaining rules disciplining students for engaging in relationships or physical contact with the opposite sex, a rights advocacy group for teenagers said Tuesday.
According to a report issued by “Asunaro” (http://cafe.naver.com/asunaro), 286 secondary schools out of 354 across the country, or 81 percent, have internal regulations preventing students from dating or having physical contact with those of the opposite gender.
In Yangpyong County, Gyeonggi Province, all middle and high schools are found to have rules against dating among students, with 119 out of 142 schools in Busan maintaining similar guidelines that specifically reprimand those engaging in relationships with fellow students.
Asunaro said the education authorities and schools have been infringing upon the students’ rights, stressing that they should scrap regulations banning on-campus relationships.
“All that the schools care about is creating overly strict rules and punishing students for dating. Teenagers should be allowed to exercise their rights over their own sexuality both inside and outside schools,” an Asunaro official said.
The group also said that some schools even prohibited students from exchanging gifts on birthdays and other special occasions.
“Students with a boyfriend or a girlfriend are forced to write a report about their relationship and schools break up social clubs if members are caught dating. Just like adults, teens are human beings and should be given the right to choose what they want to do.”
It then said schools should abolish the “discriminatory” rules against students and respect their rights to their own sexuality, as well as provide them with more practical sex education.
According to Asunaro, two students recently quit an Incheon high school voluntarily because of rules suspending those caught three times for dating, while one middle school in Gwangju called in all students involved in relationships with boyfriends or girlfriends to one place and ordered them to stop the behavior.I find it odd that it is legal for a fifty year old Korean man to have sex with a thirteen year Korean girl (as long as she is not paid and claims it is consensual), but if two seventeen year olds in high school want to change their facebook statuses and give each other birthday gifts, they can get suspended from a public school.
There is a great deal I admire about Korea, but they are hopelessly fu**ed up when it comes to sex. Additionally, I would love to know what sex education is like in a Korean public school. I hope that the answer is not that "there is none."