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Okay, here we go– some asshole sexual predator did it again. He went and molested some Korean students in Daegu. Yesterday afternoon, the DMOE sent out an email letter explaining a bit of the incident. A 55-year-old native English teacher from the U.S. was found molesting 5 male students in a Daegu elementary school. Hired directly by the school itself, he did not go through the EPIK application process …or the criminal background check that we did. Once discovered, the perp fled the country to Japan <Read more on Gusts of Popular Feeling’s blogspot>.
The high school which hired this criminal however, was legally under the DMOE’s jurisdiction; thus, the DMOE is taking some hard hits about the case right now. Incidentally, this could account for the new change this week in our school, as all teachers were given official school badges to wear during school hours, showing we are teachers of our school (vs walk-in strangers). Nevertheless, the DMOE thanked us for our good conduct as native English teachers, while also subtly reminding us that we/our actions are the face and reputation of the program.
All I can say is- thank God it wasn’t an EPIK teacher! And secondly… those kinds of crimes against children sicken me. It was hard to not cry reading about it; crimes against children are the worst. Unfortunately, Asia (and Southeast Asia more specifically) is recording a boom in foreign sex offenders (mostly from the U.S.) where child trafficking and prostitution gives predators free roam and the ability to go unnoticed.
Sex offense crimes committed by native English teachers, has been an issue in the past, enough to enforce a criminal check requirement in teach abroad applications bound for Korea. This notion of sex crimes by foreigners draws scary impressions upon Korean minds and it’s something the government is scrambling to deal with. Foreigners’ activities are always placed in the forefront- good (as some EPIKers know from having their classrooms filmed for public news) or bad; on Korean mentality however, it’s been said there’s a tendency to over-generalize on assumptions that one bad apple in the barrel spoils the bunch! This problem with sex offenders has given way to such news as Brian in Jeollanam-do‘s blog on Korea’s ban on sex offenders, the threat of immediate deportation, even chemical castration! For longer termed expats living in Korea, this is just one more thing that will fuel the press, anti-foreigner extremists and in general, Korean anxieties towards foreigners.