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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Journalist spotlights interview of school bullying victim in light of recent suicides


Article: "I was used as a sandbag at school"

Source: Oh My News via Nate

"I'm different from my peers. I noticed that my speech was slower compared to others at a young age, and I think that made me stand out. Ever since elementary school, I was bullied by the kids in my grade. They'd hit me nonstop or make fun of me and steal my supplies like pencils. The higher up the grades we went, more classmates started swearing at me.

I don't know why, but I couldn't say 'stop' whenever I was being bullied. I just held it in. My mom thinks it's because of my great-grandmother, who raised me until I was seven years. Because she had alzheimers, she'd often abuse me and I'd hide in fear. That trauma has stayed with me for life.

-

I can never forget the torture I endured in junior high. In our first year at a retreat, a group of iljins took me to their room. They told me, 'Pull down your pants and masturbate.' At that age, I didn't have any knowledge about sex so I just did as I was told. I remember the kids staring at me and laughing.

After the retreat, the same group of iljins called me to the school bathroom. They told me to do the same thing that they made me do at the retreat. Soon, more and more kids started gathering around the bathroom to see me and the female students would walk by, swearing.

Eventually, the homeroom teacher found out. I honestly told him that the iljins made me do it but the iljins denied it. The teacher just said, 'You're still in the wrong for doing it.'

My father ended up quitting his job because of the rumors that spread out, and it was at the time that my mom's diabetes condition got worse. Eventually, our financial problems reached a point where it was impossible to keep the family together so my dad transferred me to another school and I had to stay at an orphanage.

There were still kids that made fun of me at school but it was worth handling. Fortunately, they never made fun of me about staying at an orphanage. There were even some who apologized to me after time had passed.

-

Since March of 2011, when I entered high school, the bullying reached a point where I was miserable to the point where I could no longer handle it. My classmates looked down on me before even getting to know me. Once, I forgot the combination to a locker and asked a classmate to unlock it for me and he said he'd do it for $10. I thought he was joking so I didn't think much of it until he unlocked it and asked me for the money. I didn't have any at the time so he stole my bus pass. I had to walk home four subway stops that night.

After a while, it got worse. They used me as their personal sandbag to relieve their own stress. During break, a select number of kids would hit or pinch my arm or back. One time, a kid grabbed a piece of skin from my armpit and twisted it for about a minute. It hurt like my skin had been ripped off.

They had made it a game to see how often they could hit me in class without the teacher noticing. When I got brave enough to say stop, they'd beat me up even harder. During gym class, one of them would always kick a ball and aim it at my face.

Several times, they would hit me in front of the homeroom teacher, but the teacher would say nothing. It's as if he didn't know or care. I had the same homeroom teacher for my first two years and he never showed interest in the torture I was facing.

I hated going to school so I skipped about 10 days without a word. I lied to my father that I was just at the orphanage playing computer games because I didn't want him to know that I was bein bullied.

In my third year, when the torture continued and I no longer had anything left in me to handle it all, I broke down while on the phone with my dad and confessed everything that had happened to my orphanage instructor.

-

The school held a meeting and investigated me and the three students involved in the bullying. One denied everything while the remaining two only admitted to a select number of charges. Eventually, they agreed that I was the victim but did not come to a conclusion on who the assailants exactly were. One told me, 'You don't have much time left in school anyway so let's resolve this matter peacefully.' My father reported the matter to the police, reasoning that it's impossible to close the case by having only a victim and no assailant. I was fortunately able to receive police investigations and unleash some of my regrets.

I recently heard about the high school student who commit suicide after being bullied. I could understand what he felt. How frustrated he must've been... No matter how much you tell others of the torture you're facing, you're never given a solution so you're instead faced with fear of the worst to come.

What I wanted the most was for the teachers to listen to and help me. I'm sorry to my teachers thus far, but there was not one teacher who listened to what I had to say. There needs to be more opportunities for students to have their voices heard. It's difficult to come out and say that you're being bullied to begin with...

I'll transfer to another school once investigations for my case are over. I can't return to my school because I know that the students who bullied me won't let me go this time."

-

1. [+265, -21] To the students who are being bullied, school is like jail. The teachers are the prison officers and the students are the prisoners. Just like how the officers never listen to a word the prisoners have to say, teachers don't care at all about the students. They instead fire back by telling them to study harder and putting them down as human beings. Truly a jail.

2. [+246, -47] Whenever a school bullying problem comes up, the homeroom teacher needs to be fired and the principal needs to be put on probation. That's the only way school administrators will take an interest in their students. The teachers are so ambivalent to these issues. Something was burning up inside of me as I read this.

3. [+158, -10] I knew it was bad but I never knew it was as bad as this. I knew the students were going through a tough time, but never to the point of death. How can teachers live with themselves by knowing that their students are being tortured and telling them not to report it?! It's because the teachers are so lax on issues like this that the youth continue to die in our country...

4. [+25, -9] First time I finished reading an entire article ㅡㅡ Our nation's teachers are only worried about keeping their own feet clean and taking the bribes from parents -_- The bullies are bad but the teachers are worse in my opinion

5. [+24, -2] I don't understand how as a teacher you don't know that your own students are being bullied. Or are they acting like they don't know?

-


88 comments:

  1. I'm going to go cry in a corner.

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  2. man ... this things need stop

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  3. How can people be like this? And man is not only the teachers the parents are also at
    fault!!
    Education begins in the family!

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  4. no mercy foreverApril 2, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    The fact that teachers stood by and did nothing to stop the bullying is what's worst about this. Do they have no morals? No courage? What kind of teacher is that, what kind of man/woman has their parents raised to stand by idly while their students are tortured like this.

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  5. that first comment though; if you're talking to the ones being bullied, why would you tell them that school is like a jail? what kind of advice is that? it's just like saying there really is no solution.
    im just enraged by all of this. that poor kid. i hope it gets better when he transfers :(

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  6. I'm curious as to why they would force him to masturbate and then watch him do it? I'm sensing that they may be channelling their inner homsexuality feelings through bullying..

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    Replies
    1. It was probably one kid who suggested it and the others went along. Since it was about humiliation (making him do it in front other crowds repeatedly) IMO I think the bullies were sexually abused and projected their humiliation onto him.

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  7. Fck.. as if those things happened in School 2013 is not enough, the reality is sooooo much harsher.. D:

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  8. The little kid should man up

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  9. Free live porn and they want to make fun of this boy.

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  10. why are these kids so mean from a young age? and what's with these teachers? teaching isn't only about the subject you specialize in. you have to make sure kids also grow up to be good people and call them out on their shit. this makes me so angry. people say kids should learn these things at home but honestly, you spend a lot more time at school and as much as teachers aren't your family it's also on them to help push you in the right direction. don't become an educator if you only care about the money in your pocket and not about the well being of your students as well.

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  11. Bullies are more successful in life

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  12. It's not an advice that person made fun of how school is a jail. not a place to study.

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  13. It's not repressed homosexuality, it's the need for physical and sexual domination - just like prison rape.

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  14. Because this article doesn't explain the issue with teachers and parents in Korean schooling system.

    Parents will literally get teachers fired for calling out their child as a bully especially since they are a lot of very wealthy/powerful families in Korea.



    If you are a new and young teacher and you call in a studen+parents for bullying good luck to you.

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  15. Are those kids sociopaths? I don't understand how someone can do something like that...

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  16. advice is the wrong word but saying something as depressing like that to a kid being bullied is just going to make them feel like they're stuck there with no way out

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  17. Hmm Im only saying it's repressed due to Korea's tradionalist and anti-homosexual views.
    I would disagree with that since bullying occurs in mixed schools as well meaning there'd be the opposite sex there. I mean if they are willing to sexually assault a male, what's to stop them for harassing a female?

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  18. Honestly I'm not that shocked with this article. I've read else where when teacher ignores the victim, headteacher blame the teacher, bullies denied the accusation and teacher&headteacher believe it and let the victim suffer more. And when the issue reach bullies' parents, they will come to school and make a fuss "my boy isn't a bully!" "My kid is a good kid. I raise him to be a good person" bla bla bla.
    What I don't get is why isn't the minister of education take a step when this issue has been in the news for ages? I guess 50 life or so in a year is little. Are they waiting until there's a few student kill them self everyday? and goes "Oh wow why are this kids suicide everyday? That's weird. Lets investigate"

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  19. korea's whole education system needs to change period
    there are teachers in the US who are willing to sacrifice their own lives to save the kids they teach but these teachers are afraid of getting fired for trying to stop bullying smh

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  20. I agree but Korea needs a social change before any of that can happen.


    This is not something that will be solved anytime soon,they just put another christian conservative as president.

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  21. Schools in Korea are fucked up. Not even kidding. I can't believed that there was a time that I really wanted to be an exchange student for a change. But after watching kdramas and reading articles about bullying made me realized that maybe I shouldn't.
    Even foreigners are being bullied, could be physically but mainly stealing their money.
    How could the teachers be teachers if they're like that?
    In my country, there are respected teachers who you can really depend onto. They are considered as your-second-parent. You don't even dare to shout or raise a finger at them. Im so happy happy and satisfied that im in that kind of environment.

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  22. it is begin in the family but it doesn't guarantee that the kid will be a good person. No family teach their kid bad but there are still iljins at school. Yes some might come from broken home but others do it as survival or get influenced. School need to teach this kids some moral too. Unfortunately the teacher is stress enough with the amount of work they have in hand and don't want to get into more problem.

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  23. There's no element of homosexuality at play. We don't know that females aren't sexually harassed - just that this particular student was male - it's also much more socially acceptable for a female to come forward and allege sexual assault than for a male to do so. So boys who are harassed in this manner are doomed to suffer in silence.

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  24. Well forcing someone of th same gender as you to sexually pleasure themselves while you watch, in my opinion, at least borders on homosexuality.
    Yes perhaps in the societies that me and you live in. However many women who do come forward as being sexually assaulted are shunned by Korean society and a "blame the victim" mentality is created. Take Park Shi Hoo's case for example, netizens instantly claimed the women to be a kkot-baem without being properly informed.

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  25. Where does it mention about super rich students?

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  26. Look at T-ara, idiot.

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  27. I think this person is talking about rich students and not so rich from korean dramas. i guess?

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  28. What I want to see is the government to take action on this. They need to set up some regulation that protects teacher from getting fired because of handling a bullying issue, fine or reprimand teacher and head teacher if they are ignoring this issue. Setup a hotline for a victim to report their case if the teacher is no help. If the school refuse to help they can send someone to investigate the matter. School have to enforce the rules to stop bullying, e.g: 1st&2 offense:1 week off from school and make sure to give them homework, 3rd offense: kick that kid out from school, doesn't matter if he's in final year. Give a lecture on why this bullying behavior isn't acceptable, encourage the victim to come out and speak up to teacher.
    As for the president: sigh

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  29. I agree with almost everything but the fact you openly saying that "korean schools are fucked up" bullying is everywhere and I have actually heard much worse cases one being a student having there broken because of bullies this would never happen in Korea. People stop generalizing and making it out as if Korea is a death hole i am not defending what is being done but it's annoying how people make it out as if Korea is the worst when is your home country any better?
    Also Exchange don't get bullied iljins pray on the weak, foreigners are known for being more verbal an confident than koreans they would never touch you, at the most just ignore you. Most of the exchange stories i've read none have been bullied and have wanted to comeback.
    Bullying is everywhere the fact that it happens in Korea that makes you not want to go is sad.
    That's like not wanting to go to America because of all the crimes committed.

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  30. omfg the teachers. Can I be a school counselor in Korea?

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  31. This shows how much the Korean education system is lacking. Kids might be the smartest students in the whole world but they are not just too pressured, they are exposed to bullying and harassment threats all the time. There is no space to either physical or emotional integrity.

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  32. it should be parents and teachers working together so their kids can be decent human beings

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  33. ^ Agreed. I remember a couple of my older friends saying that one of their fellow coworkers (they were working in Korea as English teachers) was nearly fired because she stopped one boy from taking another kid's money...she (teacher) was crying on the spot because both the parent of the bully and the principal were angry at her and she nearly got fired. After that, she just learned to ignore bullying even though it was and still is against her own morals.

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  34. Its called a teachers union.

    I don't even know if they have one there.

    Although it can be used to keep some shitty teachers working,it atleast fixes the most important and core issues.

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  35. But the parents are in denial. The bully's parents believe that their kid is a victim. The other student is jealous or dislike their kid, that's why their kid get reported. Kids were just being a kid having a fight why must teacher overreacting?. The other issue that make teacher turns their back is because the parents will come to school flippin table and get this teacher fired because the teacher wrongly accuse their precious kid and put up some mental damage to their fragile kid.

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  36. True. However..."the apple doesn't fall far from the tree."



    Teachers do need to speak up but parents shouldn't be so influential in getting teachers fired.

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  37. T-ara girls are hot. The girls should stop bullying my heart

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  38. Which is total bull. (not your point, the parent's POV). Cause' honestly...your kid did something wrong, they should be paying some sort of consequence. That's how they learn and grow as human beings. >.> what a terrible excuse of the bully's parents.

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  39. No matter how shameful it is for a woman to come forward, it is infinitely more shameful for a male victim to come forward.
    Once again, this is not about homosexuality. Homosexuality is romantic/sexual attraction towards members of the same gender. The bullies were not aroused by the sight of the kid having to touch himself. They were LAUGHING at him because they proved that they were in control of him.

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  40. ^ True that. Had one really sh**** teacher in high school who literally just could not teach. She'd make you read the textbook in class then do the problems...her tests were just copies of other teachers' tests...honestly...the course was a joke with her. It was basically self-taught and a lot of kids complained but she still never got fired.


    On the other hand, teacher unions are great cause' if there were issues like bullying...the bully's parents wouldn't be able to influence the school into firing the teacher for doing something right.

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  41. These commenters are dogging on the teachers but I think fellow students have a better ability to help, but when a schoolmate gets tortured they either bullied them too or just turn the other cheek. Such hypocrites. Teachers need to step up their game but so do the students.

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  42. I know bullying is in every country, But why is it so horrible in Korea?

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  43. I know right?? It seems so much worse and frequents than in other countries O.O

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  44. I was going to bring this up.

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  45. I remember watching School 2013 and thought they were just exaggerating the korean school culture. That's before I found out about netizenbuzz and read all about it. I'm so surprise this kind of bullying is happening.

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  46. Well after the 2nd, 3rd time I'll start wondering, but yeah I understand that happens, so not only kid but parents should be taught about bullying and more protection for teachers who fight it

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  47. You're right. That'd be like people constantly saying why would you want to live in America, look at all those gun shootings.

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  48. If i were being bullied like that, i would've bitchslapped those kids and made their life miserable. i remember i got bullied when i was a kid and i punched the hell out of the kid and he never bullied me again.

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  49. the 'iljin' USUALLY involve super rich kid seeking prey on the poor. the idea is, the more influential you are (or your parents) the more power you get. not just rich kids, smart-ass students, school athletes and more, also iljin. iljin is basically first class students of the school, that's why teachers cant touch them. fcked up? yes indeed. ever saw Kdrama 'Boys Over Flower'? where the iljin is idolize and all.. more real than you think. the pyramid goes like this: iljin-teachers-herbivores. ironic, but the korean school is presenting the clearer pic of how the society actually work.. rich people-politician-taxpayers. LOL, 'garbage in, garbage out'

    i agreed with majingki, Korean schools is the most fucked up in modern country. even ranking 1st in suicide rate beating the overpopulated China and India, NICE! if anyone beg the differ then by all means 'amuse' me. show me the worser than Korea. every countries had bullies but Korea is the worst.

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  50. I'll probably do the same, not make their life miserable cause it will make me a bully but just fight back, but thats the thing about bullies, they know who to attack, is like they can feel who the weak ones are :/

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  51. I see more fault with the parents. Lots of parents refuse to accept the fact that their child is a bully and will redirect all the attention on the teacher, saying that the Teacher is a liar and is targeting their child. I've heard about some teachers jobs being threatened because of parents like that. This is more than an educational issue. It's a societal issue.

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  52. poofgoesdamagicdragonApril 2, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    It's about power, not homosexuality. The bullies like knowing that they have power over the individual to the point where they can even make the individual commit such a private & (in their view) embarrassing act in front of them & everybody else. They know that if the victim does such an act, they can make the victim do more embarrassing acts. They feel that they "own" the victim as their property & the victim is not a human.

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  53. This is sad. My skin crawls and my heart beats to think that a teacher could just stand there and ignore the fact that a student was being bullied. These kids are crying out for help and no one is listening. Law enforcement needs to start charging these bullies and putting them in juvenile. They have to pay for what they do.


    Korea needs to get a handle on this. Teachers shouldn't be scared to call someone out because they have rich or powerful parents. People can say what they want about America, but you can be the richest person here and still go to prison or jail. People don't care about how much money or prestige you have. A criminal is a criminal and should be treated as such. Sure the justice system isn't perfect and many wealthy people get off, but if someone reported an incident like this, teachers and other educators would be rallying around the student.

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  54. I heard parents complain about their reputation, if their kid gets in trouble for bulllying someone. To hell with reputation, they just don't care if their kid turns into a delinquent.

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  55. they need some serious help -_-

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  56. Especially gun shootings, they are scary as hell. A lot of fights happened at my high school,and kids threaten to bring guns..

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  57. I loved that drama <3

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  58. sometimes you need to keep fighting back

    when i entered boarding school back then, a group of senior tried to bully me, i fight back with all my will even when i got physically hurt,i would never let other people step on me and speaks out my mind

    after a month, they give up, they don't bother me ever again, i think they got scared of me

    few years later, i accidentally meet one of them in university, that person was so ashamed of what she tried to do back then to me, she couldn't even look at my eyes

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  59. I agree, it is bull. They obviously did something, why can't they discipline them and teach them? They are making other kid's lives hell, and they can play the victim so freely? ><

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  60. Here's that angry "How dare you" comment you wanted

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  61. I did that too, and no one dared tried to step up to me. I was lucky to be tall. I was a quiet one too...but I can be intense when threatened.

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  62. Not all kids are strong enough to do that, and they need someone to help them. You can't expect someone like him to "man up", because some can't handle that kind of ridicule.

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  63. It pains me too even read this, and I was bullied too during school. Fortunately,after a while, I grew a thicker skin and fought back physically and verbally. It pains me to see those who can't take it on their own. Tortured at home,and at school....that is like hell wherever he goes... ._. I am thankful I had a good support system,but I want to send my love to those who don't...especially the kid in the article.


    No one deserves to be publicly humiliated, and dominated to the point where people disrespect you and berate you harshly. If I was there, I would fight for him too. I wouldn't care if I get kicked out,because I would proudly voice out that my fellow students are being victimized of bullying.


    IMO


    1.Teacher's need more of a backbone, and a way to counter against iljin's and their arrogant parents.
    2.These bullies don't deserve to be in school, if they are going to fool around and torture others.

    3.Other students need to find a way to stand up for themselves, and defend those who are bullied. I strongly believe in strength in numbers against an instigator who is a bully.



    4.Most importantly...The damn school system shouldn't make the school hours so long, that is probably why bullying happens. I am sure students get tired of seeing the same classmate for long hours in week. -_-

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  64. I think that 'Iljin' on Korean dramas are the super rich kind and the real life 'iljin' are mostly teenagers with fucked up lives (drunk parents, poor backgrounds etc)

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  65. Korea keep moaning about value this value that but parents can't even teach their children how to respect others! Korean value my ass. Hypocrite at the highest level.

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  66. It's a shame that the teacher didn't even try to stop the bullies, but I wonder if they actually have the power to do anything. Watching School 2013 really made me consider everything from a teacher's perspective, too - when Jungho grabbed Jung-ssaem and nobody helped her, it kind of made me wonder if teachers are just as powerless as the students in the face of brute strength. I also remember watching Simon and Martina talk about their teaching experience, and how there was one teacher colleague who reported a bully, but instead of the bully getting in trouble, the teacher got in trouble with the principal and the bully's mother for sullying the bully's "good" reputation. It's kind of scary how much power these bullies have - not only over the students, but over the teachers, too.

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  67. Nah. Nowadays, rich kids are iljins too, unfortunately. http://netizenbuzz.blogspot.com/2013/01/are-korean-dramas-and-movies-guilty-of.html

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  68. Sometimes the if the kid is born a sociopath/psychopath, family upbringing will not matter; the kid will act out his/tendencies.

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  69. It's the society they live in. Teachers don't actively help students because they are afraid of losing their jobs due to overprotective parents or bribes and among other things. :\

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  70. **this is kind of a stretch**
    but i think the asian school system gives more opportunities for bullying to happen in classrooms and hallways.
    Teachers dont stay in their classrooms. they go from class to class teaching and all the teachers have their offices in one room (like how it is in school 2013), so theyre mainly stationed there. Once the teachers leaves the classrooms when classes are over and head back to the office, there isn't much supervising going on.
    I think this gives bullies a great advantage, esp during breaks and stuff.
    They can do stuff without any teachers seeing= no proof to present to any authorities.
    If teachers stayed in one classroom, and had students go from class to class (like American schools + colleges...class periods), i think the teachers can catch more of the bullying going on since there's one in every class= more eyes and ears open for trouble.
    ***obviously im not asking for korea to change into this, just something i noticed***

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  71. Simon and Martina (foreign youtubers in Korea) once said they saw their students bullying another student. They reacted by calling the parents of the bullies, but the parents were worried about their reputation and brought the principal into the matter. Koreans care more about reputation than fairness...and that's the truth

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  72. "Reduce the surplus population!" -- Victorian philosopher Ebeneezer Scrooge

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  73. You're an idiot. Rape and sexual assault are not about the sex or repressed sexual urges...it's a crime of power. You're an idiot....

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  74. Best tactic is to go all weird on them. Start moaning in pleasure then cum all over the guys face...would scare the shit out of them.

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  75. > But after watching kdramas and reading articles about bullying made me realized that maybe I shouldn't


    Trust me. Someone like you will be bullied no matter where you go

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  76. > I don't understand how someone can do something like that


    Well, you unzip your pants....

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  77. Wow, they are always talking about their manners and look at this always bitching about other countries and South Korea is shittier than mine ... This openned my eyes

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  78. " The bullies are bad but the teachers are worse in my opinion" Im more angered at the teachers's attitude than at the stupid iljins uggggh

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  79. thank you i actully thought i would get allot of negative comments for this post. Yeah i don't know why i didn't metnion it but it's like not wanting to go to Korea because of NK's threats.


    Foreign media make it out so much worse than it actually is that so many people do not wanting to come to SK because of it.
    But South Koreans are just laughing it off like it is nothing,with threats and all. The media can be the worst at exploiting a country i don't want things like this giving Korea a bad name since it is truely a great country how negative people here are treating it because of online users and bad naming all korean people and korea as a whole really breaks my heart :(

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  80. No they should stop bullying Hwayoung first.

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  81. stop trying.

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  82. im in the USA. middleschool and highschool is similar to college life. students go from class to class. the teachers stay in their classroom. like its their own, they own it. we run around between classes, trying to get to the other one. there is no "homeroom"

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  83. haven't started yet

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  84. But that's still exaggerating...There are severe cases of bullying in Korea but very rare.

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  85. Honestly teared a little while reading this...It was so sad what he had to go through I wish I could go to Korea and give him a big hug and a pat in the back for staying strong, others might have already tried suicide as a solution but I really want to commend his bravery T_T you sir are awesome! I hope you still stay strong and hope to see you be more successful in the future, that's the best revenge you can show to those bullies! FIGHTING!!

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