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  • 작성자 사진Noh Hyun-jin

[Feature] School Violence is Definitely Crueler than People Think

No.162 / Mar 6, 2023

Part 1 of the Netflix drama The Glory was released on December 30, 2022. The Glory is a drama about a victim of school violence who dedicates her life to exact revenge against her perpetrator. The program was sensational, ranking 5th in the world within 3 days of its release. The cruelty of school violence in the show shocked viewers.

The cruelty of physical violence

In The Glory, Park Yeon-jin, the perpetrator of school violence, burns Moon Dong-eun’s body using a hot hair iron, while Jeon Jae-joon and Son Myung-oh, the other perpetrators, sexually harass her. The drama’s “hair iron thermal check” made headlines, and a similar real-life incident was noted by viewers—the “Cheongju hair iron incident” of 2006. In this case, the perpetrator had burnt the victim’s skin using a hair iron, and then picked on the scabs after she healed. The victim suffered severe burns. The perpetrator also injured the victim’s chest with pins and assaulted her with books, causing the victim’s bone to stick out, requiring hospitalized treatment for 5 to 6 weeks. During police investigation, the perpetrator stated that she committed this crime because the victim did not listen to her and did not keep the promise. Although the perpetrator was old enough to be criminally punished, she was only given probation, with no criminal record.

The cruelty of relational violence

Although there are various types of school violence, it can be largely divided into physical and relational violence. Physical violence refers to assault, extortion of money, and sexual harassment, while relational violence refers to verbal violence, cyber violence, and subtle bullying (In Korea, the victim of subtle bullying is called eundda). In relational violence, such as subtle bullying, the victim is obviously shamed, but physical evidence of such bullying is hard to find, making it difficult to identify the perpetrator. Cyber violence, which is often anonymous, also makes it difficult to identify perpetrators. The victim’s shame becomes nothing on the surface. This is the cruelty of relational violence. Therefore, prevention is important in relational violence. According to survey part 1 of school violence in 2022 released by the Ministry of Education (MOE), relational violence accounts for about 70% of all school violence. Lee Byung-chul, a professor at the psychiatry clinic at Hallym University, emphasized, “We need to pay attention to students’ emotional support, for them to learn to control their emotions or deal with stress in difficult situations on their own.”

On the other hand, can only emotional support prevent and reduce school violence? The father of the victim of the “Cheongju hair iron incident” directly filed a complaint with the police, not through the school. Public educational institutions such as schools should be active in uncovering school violence. However, the perpetrator of the “Busan Saha-gu bloody student incident” was placed on probation but assaulted more. Legal measures must be clear to prevent ensuing harm. The Ajou Globe (The AG) hopes that school violence will not be silently ignored, to stop victim’s self-blaming.


By Noh Hyun-jin, AG Reporter

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