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School Violence to Cover Mobile Phone, Web Crimes

Posted April. 14, 2008 06:11,   


From September, students who abuse other students using mobile phones and the Internet will be punished for committing school violence. Education offices nationwide will also be authorized to have violators and their parents pay the damages of their victims.

The Education, Science and Technology Ministry yesterday announced that it will inform all education offices of the School Violence Prevention and Countermeasures Act, which was revised March 14, and that it will draft an enforcement ordinance soon to enact the law in September.

The amendment expanded the scope of school violence to cover rape and abuse through the use of mobile phones and the Internet, two crimes which have grown more frequent.

If a student hurts another student by using mobile phones or the Internet, the principal of the school can charge the offender with school violence.

But the ministry defined school violence as violence among students and left excessive discipline by teachers to the judgment of courts, so as to protect educational authority. Rape in school will be punished based on the Act on the Punishment of Sexual Crimes and Protection of Victims.

Medical fees incurred by victims of school violence will be charged to the parents of the offenders. If the parents refuse to pay, the mutual aid association of the school or the education office having jurisdiction can pay the fees first and then sue the parents later.

The lack of regulation on who should cover the medical bills had led to frequent disputes among parents. If the offender was either incapable or unwilling to pay damages, the victims were left responsible.

In addition, a principal must report to higher educational authorities when school violence arises, together with measures taken and the consequences. If an offender refuses disciplinary action such as a written apology, transfer to another class or school, or performing social service, that student will face expulsion.

A principal cannot have a student in elementary or middle school expelled since education up to middle school is mandatory, but can force a transfer to another school.

The Education Ministry will establish commissions in all education offices and autonomous committees in schools to prevent school violence. Student representatives will be allowed to take part in the autonomous committees.

Each school will be required to encourage both the offenders and their parents to undergo educational sessions and offer compulsory courses for general students and school staff on the prevention of school violence.

“Each principal will be required to establish a unit solely responsible for school violence and independently come up with countermeasures according to each school’s situation,” the ministry said. “The ministry will work toward adopting stronger measures against school violence, including enabling schools to expel students who refuse to accept disciplinary measures.”