I often see readers on Twitter discuss the Korean school system using the reactions to the TV posts on 'School 2013' as a basis, and the conversations usually revolve around just how bad the bullying issues really are.
I thought this article would make for an interesting discussion on just how poorly Korea is dealing with all of these issues because 'School 2013' is exposing that there indeed is a problem, but documentaries exposing even crueler aspects have been around for years now and schools are still hiding that these issues exist.
A few years ago, I remember watching an extremely disturbing documentary about 'bread shuttles' in particular, which you can find images and more info on this Soompi post here.
Article: 'The Tears of a School' The end of the Sonagi school saw a sea of tears from the students and their parents
Source: TV Report via Nate
SBS recently ran a documentary special telling the story of a school named 'Sonagi', Korea's first ever school system where victims of bullying as well as their aggressors are put in one classroom to study together.
The idea came about with the increasing number of students dropping out of school from the physical and psychological stress of bullying as well as the bullies themselves, who were either expelled, transferred out of their school district, or at risk for suspension.
A run down school was reconstructed and remodeled as a special 10 day program where these students were taken in, housed together, and taught various lessons as a collective group. The project aimed to instill confidence in the victims and treat the inner anger of the aggressors.
The special was basically a feel-good drama where everyone was treated and made up and best friends by the end of the program, complete with a celebratory performance of 'You Raise Me Up' to mark the end of their journey and the start of a new life.
1. [+172, -11] Do these people not know just how cruel and evil these iljin aggressors are? Committing violence is their sole job at school. They drink, they smoke, they steal money from students, they bully them, they turn the entire school against one. These are devils that purely enjoy such activities. How could they dare mix these devils in with victims who are all going through psychological trauma after already experiencing such horrible things?
Do the producers think it's funny to trivialize such an important issue like this? That school did nothing but give iljins another opportunity back into the school system and continue their power play over weaker students.
Viewers were touched by the show? I'm not sure how many would be touched by the actions of people who beat and torture their classmates..... There's nothing better in waking up these iljins than working them like dogs. They need to feel the pain of death to truly feel for themselves what it feels like to be scared to die.
2. [+138, -6] Two students did not show any sense of reflection at all, I had no idea why they were on the show.. I was mad the entire time I was watching because it felt like they were trivializing this entire issue
3. [+125, -4] I'm a victim of school aggression myself and I sincerely laughed while watching this show. It was so painfully obvious how everything was a lie. They were only acting like they were reformed because cameras were rolling and producers were watching them. When they get back to their own schools, they're going to go back to doing what they've always done.
And word of advice, don't let the victims sleep in the same room as the aggressors. Do you even know how insanely scary that would be for them?
10 days is much too short to expect any sort of change. At least a month minimum in military camp fashion is needed to even get through to these people.
"The ending was forced and they trivialized an important issue. The aggressors may seem like they've changed their ways but I highly doubt a few days of a camp outing would have influenced their ways. I feel like the producers were out to make a feel-good documentary from the get go.. because the documentary felt like a movie. Realize that reality is not a movie and people do not change that quickly."
"There was no sense of reality to this. They needed to provide real consequences for the crimes these kids committed. Kids these days are smart, they know how to work around the system."
"Sounds more like 10 days of torture for the victims. How could they make them sleep in the same room as their aggressors?"
"Do not glamorize these aggressors."
"I have a hard time believing the aggressors were ready for change when they talked about all of the torture they put onto others while laughing in their dorms. This documentary served no purpose other than glamorizing the aggressors and trivializing the issue at hand."
"Even if the school had just included the victims and left out the aggressors, Korea's upbringing is so flawed that even within that group, a new aggressor will arise to continue the cycle."
"We need to implement ideas from American schools. I heard that American teachers have it so that 20% of your grade depends on your attitude and participation. It might not seem like much but it'll mean that much less students participating in bullying since their grades are on the line. America also has it so that when you're suspended or expelled, it stays on your record forever. Korea won't see any advancement with the way they treat these students like children."