The government has announced a package of measures aimed at curbing sex crimes and domestic violence. These two problems, along with school violence and substandard food, are the “four social evils” on which the Park Geun-hye administration has declared war.
The latest plans include the launch of a mobile service to provide information about convicted sex offenders, which is currently only available on the website www.sexoffender.go.kr. The government will also develop an electronic tag with advanced functions, which officials said would transmit information and data about its holders, such as pulse, body temperature and drinking status as well as their locations and movements.
There are more measures planned, including expansion of anti-sex crime police units and surveillance cameras and strengthened monitoring of facilities for the disabled. But the highlight of the government programs is the part that deals with teachers involved in sex crimes.
The government will seek to revise laws and ordinances to bar teachers convicted of sexual crimes from teaching jobs. Currently, such people could teach again if 10 years had passed since the completion of their criminal punishment. They will now lose their teaching licenses at the time of their first conviction.
Another key element is to toughen punishment of teachers implicated in sexual misdeeds against minors. Currently, those people tend to get light punishment, such as suspension or demotion. All such people will now face dismissals.
Though belated, it is a step taken in the right direction to fight sex crimes committed by teachers, whose victims even include their own pupils. As this page noted on Feb. 5, it was preposterous that as many as 146 of 242 teachers who were disciplined for sex crimes between January 2009 and August last year were allowed to hold on to their jobs.
Now that the government has heeded the call to remove such teachers for good, the National Assembly should do the required legislative work as soon as possible. It is all too important to keep our schools free from sex criminals disguised as teachers.