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School Violence: Stop the Trauma of the Victim’s School Days
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School Violence: Stop the Trauma of the Victim’s School Days
  • Lee Chae-won
  • 승인 2022.06.30 22:21
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 The entertainment world is tainted by school violence.
The problem is more "formal" than practical.
School violence has to be recognized as a national problem.
 

▲ The left is Kim Ga-ram and the right is the photo showing information that Kim had received a disciplinary sentence from the school for violent behavior towards another student. (source=edaily.co.kr)
▲ The left is Kim Ga-ram and the right is the photo showing information that Kim had received a disciplinary sentence from the school for violent behavior towards another student. (source=edaily.co.kr)

 Kim Ga-ram, a member of K-POP rookie girl group Le Sserafim, has been on hiatus from activities in just 19 days after her debut. The reason is that she was embroiled in controversy over school violence as her school days were revealed online by the person who claims to have been a victim. The post showed Kim was placed on *Juvenile probation for behaving inappropriately as a student several times and for bullying in middle school. HYBE, Kim’s management agency, said, “The controversy had been manipulated to harm Kim. It is not the fact.” Amid the fierce battle between HYBE and the anonymous victim of her bullying, as the document states Kim’s punishment was a level 5 disciplinary action, she eventually stopped the harassing activities.

*Juvenile probation: It is established to foster healthy adolescence by taking protective measures for correction of an anti-social adolescent. School violence committees take disciplinary action ranging from level 1 to level 9, the measure being more serious the higher the number is.

▲ The left is Hyunjin and the right is his handwritten apology photo. (source=topstarnews.net)
▲ The left is Hyunjin and the right is his handwritten apology photo. (source=topstarnews.net)

 Kim is not the only celebrity who has a controversy over school violence. In February, Hyun-jin of K-POP boy group Stray Kids made an apology after his classmate insisted online that he had verbally abused and sexually harassed her when they were attending the same middle school. JYP Entertainment, the Hyun-jin’s management company, said, “Hyun-jin will put his career on hold and take time for self-examination. We will make sure that he apologizes to the victims and helps them recover.” However, it was only about four months after the scandal that he returned to the entertainment world.

▲ According to the Ministry of Education on March 24, the number of victims in 2021 decreased from 60,000 to 36,000 compared to 2019. However, it is temporarily in decline due to non-face-to-face classes caused by COVID-19, and according to an official at the Seoul National Police Agency, it is rising again when face-to-face classes are activated. (source=The Ministry of Education)
▲ According to the Ministry of Education on March 24, the number of victims in 2021 decreased from 60,000 to 36,000 compared to 2019. However, it is temporarily in decline due to non-face-to-face classes caused by COVID-19, and according to an official at the Seoul National Police Agency, it is rising again when face-to-face classes are activated. (source=The Ministry of Education)

 As it is easy to find people involved in school violence in the entertainment world, school violence is a common issue in the educational field. According to the "School Violence Survey Results Announcement in 2021" report released by the Ministry of Education, as shown in the graph above, it was found that school violence was steadily occurring. In addition, the types of damage caused by school violence among students were 41.7% verbal violence, 14.5% bullying in groups, 12.4%  physical violence, and 9.8% cyber violence. Among them, the proportion of cyber violence more than tripled in 2021, compared to 2020.

 

 Korea has also been making efforts to eradicate school violence. Each school is striving to prevent school violence by holding a campaign to prevent violence and holding a poster drawing contest. However, the problem is that it is more "formal" than practical.

 

 A scene of the school violence "Stop" campaign, which aired on KBS News in 2014, has recently become a hot topic again. The campaign refers to the victim's shouting "Stop!" to the perpetrator in a violent situation. Choi Hyun-woo (19), a high school student, said, "In reality, school violence is often mentally inflicted, not physical harm such as stealing or hitting money," adding, "But the campaign only deals with physical violence and seems to have come from the idea of not understanding the reality of school violence."

▲ It is the photo of a campaign run by the school of the students who were interviewed. The students said the campaign is formal. (source=kihoilbo.co.kr)
▲ It is the photo of a campaign run by the school of the students who were interviewed. The students said the campaign is formal. (source=kihoilbo.co.kr)

 In fact, in an interview with eight middle school students in Anyang, a student said, "I know that school violence definitely exists in our school, but it is ironic the school is promoting itself to the media as a school without school violence." In addition, there were many opinions that "most of the prevention education methods currently being conducted in schools are not touching us as they are conveyed through unrelated videos or by home correspondence, and are conducted as dull studying subjects."

 

 In addition to prevention, problems are also raised in the reporting system after school violence happens. The way of conveying the violence to the police officer or the class teacher in charge of school violence, which is deployed at each school, was generally based on the atmosphere that the fundamental problem would not be solved, and anonymity would not be guaranteed. Due to the psychology of these students, the actual number of school violence cases is expected to be higher than the reported school violence report rate.

 

 School violence is the responsibility of teachers, students, parents, and the community, so they have to participate and solve it together. Looking at the cases of some countries that have been effective in reducing school violence, it emphasizes that schools should utilize community-specialized institutions and experts. In Germany, schools are legally required to connect to local experts to actively cooperate to solve the problem of school violence. The school plans specific crisis plans, including those conducted by experts from the community. Also, if an issue occurs, a crisis response team is formed to take follow-up measures to evaluate, intervene, and prevent reported issues.

 

 Also, it is necessary to reduce "formal" campaigns and increase "substantial" campaigns. To this end, it is necessary to emphasize the participation and activities of adolescents in solving the problem of school violence. There is a need for teenagers to voluntarily participate, not simply because the school orders them to do so. At their level, they should consider what is important to solve school violence and what countermeasures are needed. High school students in Daejeon proposed a direct participation method for students to prevent and eradicate school violence. A student said, "I think the way students can directly participate in counseling or student participation trials by creating a concept different from the class president and vice president will be much more effective than the existing prevention measures."

 

 The trauma of school violence that takes place in youths’ school days is not easily forgotten. Many people's efforts are needed to protect students who are affected by the terrible trauma from their school days, which should be filled with happy memories with friends. Rather than simply recognizing and "isolating the perpetrator from the victim," school violence has to be led as a national and social problem, not a student's individual or school problem, and all members of society should be the main body of school violence prevention. It is time for the entire nation to join forces as an "active preventer" to prevent school violence, regardless of family, school, and society, so that there are no more teenagers suffering from school violence.


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