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Police crack down on wild graduation parties

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Published : 2011-02-06 18:19
Updated : 2011-02-06 18:19

Streaking, carousal as well as egging and flouring other students have long been practiced among middle and high school students after their graduation ceremonies.

But the police will crack down on such rituals this year by sending officers to the neighborhoods of 844 schools nationwide for 10 days from Tuesday, when most graduation ceremonies are to take place.

More than 47,000 police officers and night guards will watch over 1,302 spots throughout the night while operating an around-the-clock emergency reporting system.

The Education Ministry will have school teachers and other staff workers team-up with the police to patrol karaokes, PC rooms, restaurants and other entertainment facilities. It has already informed the police of the dates of ceremonies to be held at 11,000 schools nationwide.

Those involved in extorting money from students for afterparties, giving or taking orders to streak, taking photographs or video clips of naked peers, or egging and throwing flour will be punished, the police said. Anyone who takes part in such misdemeanors will be charged with assault, molestation or sexual assault.

Such graduation traditions became a national headache when pictures of naked middle school graduates were posted online last year. The photos were taken by 19 seniors, who forced the students to streak after their graduation ceremony and assaulted those who refused.

In a separate case images of a number of girls covered with flour and eggs with ripped clothes ignited public fury over the coerced “celebration” of graduation, raising the alarm over human rights infringements on the campus.

This year, schools will hold events that will leave unforgettable but pleasant memories with students and their families as an alternative to unruly behavior. A middle school in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province, will hold a “maundy” service where graduates will wash the feet of their parents. Bazaars handing over old school uniforms to juniors and producing video clips campaigning for violence-free graduation celebrations will also be held, educational officials said.

“If graduation becomes a festival for all people, students’ wild behavior will decrease too,” the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education said in a press release.

By Bae Ji-sook (baejisook@heraldcorp.com)