The parents of an elementary school student living in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province, were taken aback when they were contacted by police for an inspection into their alleged child abuse.
A local media outlet reported Monday that the parents had raised a stick to their child for stealing from a friend and a store. The act was intended to be for discipline’s sake, but a visiting teacher who glimpsed the act thought of it as child abuse and alerted the police.
Another family in the same region was also questioned by the police after their own child reported them.
Both cases were closed by the authorities as parental discipline was misunderstood, but the parents were shocked for having been accused of child abuse.
According to Chungcheongbuk-do Office of Education, the number of reported cases of domestic child abuse against elementary, middle and high school students in the region reached 86 in the period leading up to October this year. Of those, 43 were dismissed after initial investigation.
The current law states that a teacher who has come across a suspicious case of child abuse must report to the police for following countermeasures to take place. Wrongly accused parents complained of lasting trauma.
The police said while it’s unfortunate that a simple family affair could be wrongly taken as child abuse, there are real cases that only get unearthed thanks to the reports.
In a recent survey of parents with underage children by the National Human Rights Commission of Korea, 77 percent of respondents said they had never received education on human rights involving children and teenagers.
By Lim Jeong-yeo (email@example.com)