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117 teachers expelled for crimes

Bribery, sex crimes and drunk driving made up the lion’s share of offenses for teachers receiving stiff disciplinary action, according to the education ministry on Sunday.

The results are from a report by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, which studied all 2,649 heavy penalty cases between 2007 and June 30 of last year. Heavy penalties include expulsion, dismissal and suspension. A pay cut or a rebuke are considered mild punishments.

Thirty-five teachers were expelled, a penalty which includes the loss of pension. Of them, 14 were charged with bribery, followed by nine cases of sex crimes including harassment, molestation and assault.

Another 82 cases involved teacher dismissals, which does not include loss of pension. Of them, 24 were dismissed over sex crimes, followed by 11 cases of bribery. Other cases included arson, theft and, shockingly, even infanticide.

Drunk driving was a prevalent cause of teachers receiving the lighter disciplinary action of suspension.

The majority of teachers who faced suspension did so for drunk driving, followed by bribery, illegal leave of absence and sex crimes.

The trend was similar for all those teachers slapped with disciplinary actions including a pay cut or reprimand, with driving under the influence of alcohol and bribery, followed by sex crimes at fifth place.

The report includes cases of private university professors repeatedly sexually harassing their female students either physically or verbally.

One teacher at a high school in Seoul was dismissed after taking his pants off in front of teenagers at night while under the influence of alcohol.

Another professor at a university of education was found to have committed verbal sexual harassment on multiple occasions and even sexually assaulted one of the students.

Other “educators” in the report were found to have gone to cabarets while on a long-term sick leave, or taken favored students on an illicit golf trip.

By Robert Lee (robert@heraldcorp.com)
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