Look at those kids!
They are my adorable students. I'm really lucky because this semester my kids and I have an amazing connection; I love them, they love me, I understand them, they understand me, I make them laugh, they make me laugh.
On this picture you can see Max trying to sush Benjamin. We were playing the celebrity game and Ben kept giving obvious clues so Max took the matter in his own hands. We all had a really good laugh about it, including Ben (who is a hilarious and very smart boy)!
Kids do that. They play, sometimes hard. They fight, they hurt each other, and it's ok. They're young and they need to get it out of their system.
But here's the thing I don't get: even though they can sometimes be a handful, why on earth do Korean parents and teachers still use corporal punishment so often?!
I was shocked to learn that one of our Korean grammar teachers at school hits her students on the head with a book.
Laughing to see me so astonished, my students explained that this is really nothing compared to what they endure.
At school, torture techniques include having them in the sitting position without a chair, their arms in front of them. Imagine the thighs.
Or sitting on the table, holding a chair over their head for about an hour. Pain and humiliation.
Sometimes they get down on their knees and teachers hit them. The ruler is a very popular tool - on the head, knuckles, arms, or even legs! The chair is also nice to hit kids on their back.
The most impressive technique is when a teacher pulls a kid by the hair. The teacher being much taller, the child's feet don't even touch the ground anymore. Headache???
Apparently this is called "love punishment". The stick they use to hit the kids is called "love stick".
Although things are now changing, a lot of people here still use corporal punishment. Parents approve what teachers do.
As it turns out, one of my students got 63% on a test and I asked for her mom's signature. She got me her mom's signature all right, along with what I expected the least.
It was a hot day, yet the student was wearing jeans. It didn't take long before she showed me her legs. Huge bruises were covering her shine bone. Yup, her mom had hit her with Korean's national musical instrument - the danzo! And since it's made out of bamboo, she could hit as hard as she wanted and it wouldn't break.
Another kid couldn't make it to school because his father hit him so hard that he couldn't walk!
Tonight when I got home, the neighbour’s boy was gently knocking on his door. After a while, I went out and asked if he was ok. I offered my cell phone so he could call his mom. The kid got all nervous and told me to go back into my apartment. After about 15 minutes, the mom opened the door and beat the hell out of her son.
He'd probably done something bad and she punished him by letting him out for a couple of minutes. Then she hit him.
I just can't believe this. I know, my parents suffered some physical punishment. And it's not so long ago that it was banned in France. And in many countries it is still going on. But how can humans do such a horrible thing? Just hearing the poor kid crying and yelling, I couldn't stand the brutality.
Look at them... I don’t think that Korean children are more disciplined or clever than Americans. Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems to me like corporal punishment is just a quick fix that may leave everlasting scars.
Fuck people, what's wrong with this world? Can't we all live in peace?!