According to a senior official at Hanyang Elementary School, native teachers can be fired immediately and anytime if parents and the private school’s administration decide to do so, especially when they make a blunder such as forcing students to taste detergent.
Lee Byung-in, vice principal at Hanyang Elementary School, says Claire, an English teacher from South Africa, was fired on March 13, a day after she let her students taste detergent as punishment for speaking Korean during her after school class.
“Unlike regular workers, we can immediately dismiss native teachers as they are contract workers,” he said, noting that the native teacher taught English in both regular and after school classes in the private school.
Lee mentioned the school received complaints that Claire administered the unusual punishment of tasting either Onix, an organic nail bite deterrent, or Charm Green, an organic dishwashing liquid, during an after school class for sixth graders on March 12.
He stressed that it only happened once and it would not happen again.
The 32-year-old teacher offered an apology the next day in a meeting of parents and senior teaching staff. The school informed her of their decision to dismiss her during the same meeting.
Some Korean media outlets claim that she forced students to drink detergent, but an investigation by the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education reveals that it was unlikely that there was any coercion.
“The teacher explained her own rule that students are not allowed to speak Korean and explained to students that those who speak Korean will be subject to tasting Onix, an organic medicine that helps you stop biting your nails, or Charm Green,” Lee Byung-jae, a spokesman of the education office, said.
“However, mischievous children kept using Korean, saying they want to taste them.”
The spokesman said two of the “playful” children chose to taste Onix and three others opted for Charm Green.
Claire left Korea after being dismissed. Lee said she is believed to be staying in Hong Kong.
The following is what Claire wrote in an apology for her inappropriate behavior.
The following is the product description of Onix.
RECOMMENDED FOR:dual-purpose action, provided through the bitter and spicy tasting plant extracts included, it reduces the temptation to bite nails and cuticles.
FEATURES:dual-purpose action, provided through the bitter and spicy tasting plant extracts included, it reduces the temptation to bite nails and cuticles.
MAIN INGREDIENT:Quassia Amara extract: a very bitter extract from the wood of the Quassia Amara tropical tree. Capsicum extract: an extract from the capsicum (chili pepper) fruit that is rich in capsaicin, an extremely piquant (spicy) substance. Denatonium benzoate: the most bitter substance known. Broadly used as a denaturating substance to improve the safety of products that are not to be ingested.
HOW TO USE:Spread plenty of the product on the nails and the surrounding area, and allow to dry. Repeat application several times a day, especially after washing hands. Harmless even if swallowed in small amounts through contact with oral mucosa. Rub the bristles of the brush between the fingers, to prepare them for first use.