Go to contents

School bullies’ records to be reflected in college admission

School bullies’ records to be reflected in college admission

Posted April. 13, 2023 08:02,   

Updated April. 13, 2023 08:02


From February next year, the mandatory archiving period of records on bullies at elementary, middle, and high schools will be extended to up to four years. Beginning in the school year 2026 when the current 10th graders will seek college admission, school records on bullies will be reviewed and reflected in not only the advance admissions process but also the regular admissions process for colleges. It will also likely become possible for education universities and colleges for elementary, middle, and high school teachers to block school bullies from applying in the first place.

On the government’s behalf, Prime Minister Han Duck-soo announced a ‘comprehensive plan to root out school violence and bullying’ at Government Complex Seoul on Wednesday. The move comes 48 days after the controversy started intensifying over school violence in the wake of ‘accusation of school bullying by the son of Chung Soon-shin,’ a candidate who was disqualified as the chief of the Special Investigations Unit for Corruption Crimes.

If a student receives disciplinary action, including forced transfer to another school, suspension, or forced change of class, such history will be kept in school records for four years, up by two years from the current two-year period.

Critics say, however, that the latest set of measures may not be sufficient to mitigate pain and damage suffered by victims of bullying. The new plan has not suggested any corrective measure that can be taken if the bully chooses to take his or her time in protest against forced transfer or expulsion by filing an administrative litigation or administrative appeal. “The severer the penalties school bullies come to face, the more litigations will inevitably be filed,” the Korean Federation of Teachers Unions said.

The government’s plan reveals dilemmas over ‘the principle of severe penalty’ and ‘fairness.’ The prevailing opinion among the general public and victims of bullying call for severer punishment and restrictions, but others say, “School bullies who commit relatively light violation than youth offenders could end up facing severer punishment.” Currently, a bill requiring schools to keep records on school bullies for up to 10 years is pending at the National Assembly.

Sung-Min Park min@donga.com