Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Student Beating

"All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." -Burke

One of my co-teachers smacked a student around and I don't know how to feel. I went to the teacher's office after teaching my lesson to the 8th graders. I walk in the room and one of the other teachers is yelling at a student next to my desk. So I sit down and the kid is maybe two feet away from me when suddenly the teacher jumps up and gives the kid an open handed smack hard. He smacked him again this time using his left hand and then again using his right. The entire time he's yelling and screaming. He alternated hands slapping him in the face for five blows. He then started punching him in the forehead hard. While this is going on, I am looking around at the other teachers for a reaction. Most are pretending not to notice but a few were actually smirking. So I'm seeing this and I'm getting hot wondering if I should stop him. My every instinct is saying don't get involve with the locals it can only end badly and if I would have gotten up and stopped him the Korean would have reacted forcefully to save face, and then I would have beaten the brakes off of him. On the other hand I hate a bully in any manifestation and striking a child in the face that you know would never hit you back is the clearest case of bullying I could imagine. So I take one look over at the smirking vice principal and I decided to leave the room. I couldn't help the boy and the only thing worse than being beaten is having it done in front of a foreigner.

Now for the rest of my life I'll have to wonder if I made the right decision. I truly only regret three things in my life and they all revolve around me failing to do the right thing. But had I acted, well let us just say that I know how that story ends also. I strike a Korean I get arrested and jailed until I pay a huge fine to the Korean guy and then with the little money I have left I get sent back to America. Plus I only teach two days per week at this school and this teacher is always involved with disciplining some boys. There is no telling what he does when I am not there. Maybe I am just rationalizing and justifying my cowardice in the face of injustice. I guess I'll have a lifetime to think about it. Thanks Korea

Guess what subject the teacher in the story taught. It should be fairly obvious to anyone who went to school in America. The first prize is a Korean trinket I picked up in Seoul.


  1. I hate that. Most asians (not just east asian but south asians too) beat their children to discipline them. My mom used to beat me till i turned blue just for education. I was a good kid in school so never really got punished. But uncle was a teacher and he definitely beat students too.

    I live in FL. I pretty much have a very wonderful life thanks to God. But recently i have wanted to go to Korea a lot. Never been there. I was thinking of transferring as a student.

  2. They don't hit university students and I think you can have a good time here if you are open minded and accept the fact that you aren't in America anymore,

  3. That's wild but I grew up in Jamaica, we got a lot more than smacks with the hand. I can understand your feeling but I think you did the best thing. If I remember correctly they say don't get involved.

  4. That happens a lot here BUT IT IS TECHNICALLY ILLEGAL!!! So, as long as you don't touch anyone yourself, you could say something or ask what's wrong. The sad thing is that although parents don't like the system, they do nothing because they are afraid that their kid will be alienated by the teachers. Sad. There have been a few cases where the parents intervened and teachers were moved to other schools. Perhaps, a foreigner saying something would bring a bit of shame to that teacher!!! People can say that it's "their culture", but the simple fact is that it is child abuse - illegal in Korea!!!

  5. I teach in a small country town and from what I hear it doesn't happen in the bigger cities among the younger teachers. As for feeling shame, I doubt it because he was less than 3 feet away and he didn't start hitting him until I got there.

  6. it also occured to me, that black people can be racist too, as u are generalizing koreans like that... of course its like that in every country you go to...
    i mean singapore gives out death sentences for drunk driving, stealing, or even any possesion of drugs....... my point is that every country has their own sense of mindset... and its in youre best interest and for your own good to not get yourself involved in other country's business...

    you dont see koreans coming to whereever you live and criticizing how you guys live or how unjustified youre system is...

    korea is just has a strict discipline system, in a way they believe in the end justifying its means if it involves making the kid turn out to be strong and witful... which in reality it does payoff, with koreans having a high educational success rate with economical improvements...
    so who do you think u are or what place is there for you to criticize a country you know nothing about??

    and in fact i know ur a hater... especially towards koreans,, seeing all this immature things u say about koreans in yahoo answers...
    obviously ur just hating based upon ur personal experiences... tell me if im wrong..

    and YES you are ganna get arrested if you strike a person in the street like u mentioned... who the hell tolerates public violence... looks like ur just a troublemaker in korea...

  7. Wow my first Korean apologist or kimcheerleader.
    So based on your logic it is ok for the farmers I live around to import these women from around the third world and beat the hell out of them. Because it is Korean culture. Cultural relativism is fine in small doses but there has to be some right or wrong at some point. Besides Korea copies everything else American copy the fact that it is wrong to punch and slap children in the face.

  8. I'm Korean man, born in 1971. At firt I apologize for my English writing skills.

    Punching a middle school student in the forehead huh…when I was that age, I saw even a teacher kicks a student in the stomach. Teacher means 'Fear' to me during my childhood.

    For now that kind of 'discipline' is getting to be disappeared. Good change for the student, and also teachers. Still there needs some time but I believe young teachers will shake off old fashioned schooling system such as beating.

  9. Don't apologize and thanks for reading my blog. Welcome

  10. PE? :-D

    Anyways.It's really bad.
    My daughter attends an elementary in Bucheon and it doesn't happen around (her school and )the city anymore.
    (Or maybe a few unknown/isolated incidents) Many of the students nowadays fight back or at least tell their parents who'd immediately complain. Also if the student/their child gets hurt even just accidentally at school, the principal would never hear the last of it, so they're really careful.

  11. I believe that. Bucheon is basically a suburb of Seoul and wealthy, those parents aren't putting up with that. But the one time i heard of a kid fighting back was in Incheon and he was arrested and charged with assault.

  12. whats with you on koreans?
    i mean all these comments i see about you ranting on this page,,, with going kimchi this kimchi that...
    just asking..
    arent u being racist and unfair towards the koreans that are not like that?

    not every koreans are like that... as much as not all black people are criminals... right?

    i mean, i dont think all black people are like this, but ive been in bronx, westside, newark, and other cities...
    but i hear about all this rape, murder, drug stories, child molesting, etc... going around over there.... shouldnt something like that be taken care of first? rather then focusing the world's attention on something insignificant as some school education or some social standards in a country that has nothing to do with you?

  13. First I'm not being racist towards Koreans in anyway. I have never looked at a Korean baby and thought that child will grow up to be inferior to me because of the color of its skin. I don't look at Korean people and automatically assume that the person in front of me is my intellectual,physical, spiritual, and moral inferior. But a lot of Koreans look at me that way. No I wait until they open their mouths and then I decide what kind of person they are.

    Second, none of my stories say all Koreans think this way or act that way. In fact my stories are very specific and generally give names and places and other details.

    Third, you are using the standard tactic of Koreans which is to deflect. What does the levels of crime in Newark have to do with Korean culture?

    Fourth, I live here and I pay taxes here so I comment on what I see. I have been here for almost three years at what point would I be allowed to form a valid opinion in your eyes.

  14. instead of attacking the ideas you attack the person first rate mind you have there. as for importing women and beating the hell out of them

  15. heres some more...
    since u were nice enough to throw a bull of shit at me...

  16. can u guys stop being racist?
    anonymous is a doushe , but i dont like the fact that you (mike) posted on the title, depicting on koreans such stating "kimchi country", or "kimchiland"

    are you sure you're trying to justify what should be right on saying is appropriate about koreans? i hate those teachers too, i have some bad memories about them, but i hear that its illegal, so im sure it was just that place you were in,
    that teach is suppose to get arrested

    but i cant support youre saying about how you generalizing koreans to be biased or wifebeaters, cause im sure theres alot of people like that america

    and also theres crime in every country not just restricted to america or korea

    mike if you want youre opinions to reach, i dont think making the post title "black child in korean kimchi kountry" would be a wise choice, itll just bring in more provokement from people

  17. I let you get in nigger twice anon. but I don't want to hear that anymore from a coward e-gangster. You wouldn't call me a nigger to my face so don't do it here. As for my blog being racist I am reviewing the content along with others that I respect.

  18. I posted exactly who I am and where I am and believe me it is not hard to find me here. As for being a kimcheerleader it has nothing to do with being of Korean descent and everything to do with being an apologist for all things Korean therefore anybody could be one and the term was coined with foreigners in Korea in mind.

  19. riiiight...
    and ur one of those typical haters that is black

    dont feed me ur excuses...
    black ppl just hate being racially abused, when they personally racially abuse others...

    its still offensive..

    so you wouldnt mind me calling u chicken eater, watermelon slurping, kool aid drinking, kentucy fried chicken shit??
    since that has nothing to do with youre descent, yet its just describes someone like you?

  20. yes I am very typical and I have no right criticizing or observing anything I see here because I did not come out of a Korean vagina. I understand your poorly reasoned points. Now I am done with this topic and I suggest you write the anonymous blog about the most perfect people on Earth. The Koreans

  21. This is Zane.. Ive seen Korean teachers hit chldren in every school I taught at. Ive taught in 4 of Koreas major cities at 8 school in all. Some poor schools, some rich. I would say at most of them I would be still be considered with fondness, so Im not just making this shit up out of spitefulness. Korean schools need to clean their act up.

  22. Hey Anonymous, you're pretty tough hiding behind your anonymous username. You now know my name and with a little searching you could even find out where I live so why don't you come to Seoul and meet up with me so I can kick your fucking little ass back to the countryside you came from? Your government and your parents hired us to come teach little inbred fuckers like you a lesson, so come a get one, you cunt.

  23. Mike, Some high school male students in Incheon City beat their teacher to death in April of 2001. The murder was caught on tape, and it was on all of the television news programs. Like the many, many, many, many other horrific and various types of assaults in Korean classrooms since then, Koreans usually can't admit that this shit happens daily in this nation. Or that more than a fabled few of their kids refer to us in racially-derogatory terms right in front of their smiling and head-nodding K-Teachers.