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2,144 businesses deemed harmful to Seoul middle schools

Posted March. 21, 2013 07:25,   


An estimated 2,144 businesses near 379 middle schools in Seoul have been deemed harmful to youths, with 25 schools having more than 20 harmful businesses within 200 meters.

Hotels, video viewing facilities, karaoke establishments, sex businesses such as those for phone sex, and bars offering alcohol and adult entertainment are classified as harmful businesses to teens.

This is the result of a survey on all middle schools in Seoul (excluding three newly opened schools) co-conducted by The Dong-A Ilbo and Rep. Kim Tae-won of the ruling Saenuri Party, who is on the Education, Science and Technology Committee of the National Assembly. Education pundits say such places outside schools are as harmful as school violence. According to the survey, almost half of the places, or 44 percent, are densely located near 25 schools.

Based on a second survey on school violence, which was released by the Education, Science and Technology Ministry last year, the 25 schools were in the top 30.6 percent of the most seriously affected by school violence across Korea. On the other hand, just three schools belonged to the top 20 percent in academic achievement. The survey result shows that school violence in middle school is more serious than that of elementary or high school, meaning that schools near harmful businesses experience more severe school violence and lower academic achievement.

Middle schools in Seoul`s Songpa district were found to have the most harmful businesses with 228, followed by Gangdong district with 174, Mapo 158 and Dongdaemoon 140. Guro had the least number of such places with 25. Bangi Middle School had the most harmful places nearby with 93.

School teachers said measures are needed to improve the environment near schools. According to a Dong-A Ilbo survey of 297 teachers belonging to the Korea Federation of Teachers` Associations, 76 teachers, 26 percent, said the number of harmful businesses around schools has increased.

Rep. Kim said, “Though the government has repeatedly claimed improvement in the areas surrounding schools, the number of harmful businesses has increased along roads leading to schools just like the spread of poisonous mushrooms. Such places aggravate juvenile delinquency and harm the sound spirit of students.”