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Unruly students to be suspended from classes in lieu of corporal punishment

All Headlines 15:28 December 29, 2010

By Kim Eun-jung

SEOUL, Dec. 29 (Yonhap) -- Students with repeated misbehavior will be suspended from classes as an alternative disciplinary measure for unruly pupils following a nationwide ban on corporal punishment, a state-funded education research body said Wednesday.

A research team led by Cho Peck, a professor at Seoul's Dongguk University, announced at an education ministry-sponsored forum a series of options to replace physical punishment, which the ministry said will be reflected in the revised education law to be proclaimed next month. The ministry will instruct primary, middle and high schools nationwide to adopt the new measures starting from next semester, officials said.

The forum came on the heels of reports and surveys showing that a growing number of teachers have been insulted and even assaulted by their students following the nationwide enforcement of a ban on physical punishment that was enacted on Nov. 1.

While the alternatives still prohibit instructors from spanking or verbally insulting students, they suggest that schools be allowed to take such punitive actions as ordering misbehaving pupils to stand at the back of classrooms, run laps around the track or do push-ups. Other alternatives include volunteer work at the school campus, community service and attending special classes.

For those who repeatedly disobey despite the alternative punishment, schools may suspend them from attending classes for a certain period and order them to undergo counseling or take ethics courses.

The team also recommended that schools operate a task force to protect teachers' rights and safety and to give campus security guards power to intervene in cases of emergency involving unruly students in classrooms.

"The alternatives are focused on not leaving unruly students behind in and out of school even when they are suspended, but on making them receive ethics lessons within the regular education system," Cho said.


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