An elementary school teacher has been convicted of child abuse for publicly humiliating students, according to local experts and news reports Monday.
The Seoul Central District Court sentenced the teacher to six months in prison and two years of probation for violating the child abuse punishment act. The court also ordered the teacher to attend a 40-hour lecture on child abuse prevention and mandated a two-year restriction on employment at any child-related institutions.
From August until November 2019, the teacher forced a student to repeatedly say to the class the Korean adage, “the pot calling the kettle black,” as punishment for a remark the student made that the teacher perceived to have been in poor taste.
The teacher is also charged with embarrassing a student caught talking behind the teacher’s back. The teacher reportedly asked other classmates if the student should be disciplined.
The teacher is also accused of leaving a student alone in the cafeteria for 40 minutes after lunchtime for not listening to the teacher.
The court defined the teacher’s improper remarks and actions as “emotional abuse that harms the mental health and development of the victims who are young children.” It added the victims appeared to have suffered a considerable amount of emotional distress and shock.
The teacher has not yet been forgiven by the victims.