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Court finds parents of bullies liable for reparations

Posted December. 08, 2000 20:27,   


A Seoul court ruled Friday that bullying students and their parents as well as educational authorities should pay for damage caused to victims of their bullying.

Up to now there have been some cases in which courts ordered educational authorities to compensate bullying victims, but this is the first time that bullying students and their parents were also held liable.

The Seoul District Civic Court ordered 15 students who bullied a classmate identified only as Chang (now 21) in 1995, and their parents to pay 80 million won to Seoul City and its Educational Office to reimburse the city for compensation paid to the victim. The plaintiffs originally demanded payment of 130 million won.

In handing down the ruling, the court said that the parents as well as the school were responsible for neglecting their duties to control the offending children. The court ordered the school to pay 40 percent of the reimbursement and the parents to bear the remaining 60 percent.

Chang, who entered high school in 1995, had approval from school authorities to skip physical education classes owing to his heart disease. But his classmates bullied him and claimed that he was pretending to be ill, which resulted in Chang quitting the school in 1997 and emigrating to the United States.