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지나쌤

Teachers hold rally, demand revision of controversial law

By Yonhap

Published : Oct. 28, 2023 - 16:47

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Teachers hold a moment of silence during a rally in front of the National Assembly in Seoul on Saturday, to demand the revision of the Child Welfare Act, which they argue can hold them accountable for child abuse for what they consider to be necessary disciplinary action. (Yonhap) Teachers hold a moment of silence during a rally in front of the National Assembly in Seoul on Saturday, to demand the revision of the Child Welfare Act, which they argue can hold them accountable for child abuse for what they consider to be necessary disciplinary action. (Yonhap)

South Korean teachers held a rally Saturday calling for the parliament to revise the current law that can hold them accountable for child abuse for disciplinary action at schools.

Around 120,000 teachers took to the streets near the National Assembly, demanding that revising the Child Welfare Act is a fundamental step to protect teachers' rights.

"Article 17 of the act that bans emotional abuse is becoming a sharp blade of lawsuit and accusation against teachers seeking to engage in educational activities," a teacher said in a statement.

Teachers across the nation have recently demanded better treatment and guarantees of their authority in classrooms in the wake of a series of suicides by teachers who suffered from unruly students and malicious complaints from parents.

Currently, the act bans teachers from "committing emotional abuse against a child that may harm his or her mental health and development."

Teachers argue that the vague wording of this provision gives justification to some parents to make groundless accusations with malicious intent.

"Teachers' instructions should no longer be interpreted as emotional abuse," they added.

Meanwhile, the number of elementary, middle and high school teachers who took their own lives over the past decade amounted to 144, data showed earlier this month.

Elementary school teachers accounted for 78, or 54.2 percent, of the total, while middle and high school teachers accounted for 27 and 39, respectively. By age group, those in their 20s and 30s accounted for 60, or 41.7 percent.(Yonhap)