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Inquiry on faculty sex offenses underway

Criminal background checks for sex offenses will be released for all faculty members of education facilities to better protect the nation’s students, government officials said Wednesday.

According to the Education Ministry, a first round inquiry took place between May and July of this year, surveying 189,759 nurseries, schools and private academies. Out of a total 1,026,852 faculty members 85.2 percent agreed to participate in the inquiry.

The ministry is also seeking to legally obtain consent this month from 17,891 staff members who refused to cooperate.

Those who refused to participate in the inquiry broke down into 10,556 from elementary, middle and high schools, 6,905 from private academies and 431 staff members from preschools.

The inquiry comes after a law was passed in April of last year.

The ministry plans to release the findings of the inquiry.

If an individual is found with an existing sex offense record, the ministry will request the overseeing office of education to have the individual transferred as soon as possible.

Regardless of the weight of the sex offense, the individual will be removed from all education and leadership duties.

The ministry is actively pushing for a revised bill to pass through the National Assembly, to have faculty members stripped of their teacher’s certification and fired from their post, and slapped with a fine of at least one million won ($837). Currently the law states that a teacher must step down only if given a prison sentence in a sex offense case.

By Robert Lee (robert@heraldcorp.com)
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