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`Liberal Party Lawmaker Cussed at Vice Principal`

Posted April. 08, 2008 06:26,   


A lawmaker of the liberal United Democratic Party who will run in Wednesday’s general elections is alleged to have cussed at the vice principal of an elementary school in Seoul and then rejected an apology from the principal.

A man close to the situation, identified only as Lee, said Monday, “The principal went to Rep. Jung Chang-rae’s office on the day of the squabble (Wednesday). The principal waited three hours before meeting the lawmaker, but Jung refused to accept his apology because the (vice principal) did not come with him.”

Lee had a face-to-face talk with the principal, identified only as Choi, the day after Jung quarreled with the vice principal of Seokyo Elementary School, who was identified only as Kim.

“Principal Choi expressed his anger by saying, ‘How can this be?’” Lee said. “Another vice principal next to Choi asked, ‘What could be more serious than this? A vice principal was insulted. We must also do something.’”

Choi, however, denied waiting for three hours though he did visit Jung on the day of incident. “As far as I know, Vice Principal Kim apologized to Rep. Jung a while ago. Kim is now in the hospital,” said Choi.

Jung is also known to have phoned the Seobu District Office of Education in Seoul right after the quarrel.

“Jung called me on the day of the incident, asking what kind of person Vice Principal Kim is,” said Ryu Yeon-soo, head of the Seobu office.

Koo Bon-soon, director of the Seoul Metropolitan Board of Education, also said, “Jung instructed me to properly train vice principals, to which I replied, ‘Am I responsible for training vice principals?’”

The Seobu office and the elementary school are also alleged to have sought a cover-up of the incident. When news of the fight broke Friday, the school distributed a letter of explanation saying, “Rep. Jung did not cuss at a vice principal.”

Kim, however, said in a report that he submitted Friday to the Seobu education office, “Rep. Jung said, ‘How can you do this to me. I am the incumbent lawmaker representing this district. You are arrogant and insolent. How dare you talk to me while putting your hands in your pockets? I was not even invited when the school held an event last year.’”

The Seobu office, however, did not disclose the report that Kim said he submitted.

Principal Choi said, “Vice Principal Kim wrote the report in person and sent it by e-mail. We merely reported it to the Seobu District Office of Education. We did not plan it beforehand.”

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