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Editorial
CoexistenceMatters
L
ast summer, another tragic incident occurred in a South Korean
elementary school, sparking intense debate over the erosion of teachers’
ESTABLISHED1954
authority. A woman in her twenties, serving as a first-grade homeroom
Publishedmonthlyexceptonschoolholidaysbyand
teacher,tragicallytookherownlifeinastorageroom.Asitwasknownthatshe
for the students of Hankuk University of Foreign
hadbeensufferingfromcomplaintsmadebyparentsofastudentinherclass,the
Studies,TheArgus, the campus English magazine,
police began an investigation. However, the police terminated the investigation
pursues the highest standard of campus journalism
shortly after, citing no suspicion of bullying by parents, though this decision
andacademism.
remainscontroversial.Followingtheincident,theTeacher’sUnionmobilizedfor
the restoration of teachers’ rights, a sentiment echoed by the press, which called
forsolutions.Consequently,anamendedTeachers’StatusActissettotakeeffect,
?PresidentandPublisher Prof.ParkJeong-Woon
onMarch28,2024,whiletheKoreanElementarySchoolTeachers’Unionisstill
?ExecutiveEditor
Prof.LeeHerim
callingforreinvestigationintoherdeath.
One notable aspect is that the Student Human Rights Ordinance has been
?CopyReaders
Prof.MerrileeBrinegar
singledoutasacontributingfactortothedeclineinteachers’rightsbytheKorean
Prof.JosephR.Vincent
government and the ruling party. This shift in focus has led to a contentious
Prof.ChrisKobylinski
debate over whether to abolish the ordinance with politicians divided on the
matter. They have argued that students’ rights have been “excessively improved”
?Editor-in-Chief
KimSu-yeon(IS-4)
whilesuppressingteachers’rights.ThespectacleofagroupofmembersofSouth
?StaffReporters
KimYi-eun(E-3)
ChungcheongProvincialCouncilenthusiasticallyadvocatingforabolitioncontrasts
withalonesuperintendentofeducationpicketinginfrontofGwanghwamunGate
LeeSeeun(M-2)
inSeoul.
ChoSubin(SL-2)
The ongoing conflicts over the ordinance arose from the stakeholders using
JooHeejin(ELLT-2)
the issue for their political interests without understanding the essence of the
?EditorialConsultants
LeeJue-hyun(IEL-4)
educationalenvironment.Theschoolcommunityisacomplexnetwork,akintoa
patchworkinitsnature.Itcomprisesprincipals,educationoffices,teachers,parents,
ChoEun(LCS-3)
andstudents,eachwiththeirowninterestsandinfluences.Thedeclineinteachers’
?Illustrator
ChoiSoohyeon
rightsovertheyearsisattributabletoamultitudeofcomplexfactorsinvolvingall
theseactors.
To foster coexistence in a school community, it is essential to respect the rights
ofallpartiesinvolved,recognizingthatallrightsarerelative.Instancesofteachers
infringinguponstudents’rightsthrougheducationalabuse,orviceversa,mustbe
addressedandrestrainedaccordingly.Toachievebalance,itisnecessarytoadjust
the extent of each right rather than eliminating one or the other. The relationship
betweenteachersandstudentsisnotasimpledichotomy,norisitazero-sumgame
oranadversarialone.Itisnotnecessaryforthetwotocanceleachotherout,and
protecting one side does not entail attacking the other. Mutual understanding is
crucial, as relationships enforced solely by law tend to be rigid. We must stop
Imun
Seoul
dividing,asithasneverledoursocietytoagoodplace.
(02)2173-2508
Oedae
Yongin
ByKimSu-yeon
Editor-in-Chief
(031)330-4113
HONGDESIGN

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