Teaching English in Korea can be a tough job especially when students raise false sexual abuse and assault allegations.
A Reddit member on Thursday, using the handle falselyaccusedinSK, wrote that he has been falsely accused of slapping a student.
UPDATE: This source requested we remove the article. I’ve agreed to remove all quotes that might identify him with his school: “I appreciate what you are trying to do however drawing media attention to this could really hurt the case and upset the school who is currently supporting me.”
He has now closed his reddit account but the thread remains.
While many suggest this individual seek legal advice, some have also shared their horror stories.
IamDokdo_AMA, writes that he worked at a school where false allegations were frequent and poorly managed by staff.
“I was working at an after school program in a public school with no co-teacher in the room, in a room with no cameras. I was accused of touching a girl under her clothes in front of the class. Ultimately, the other kids were like “that didn’t happen” and the kid confessed to lying and the parents were really ashamed.”
The confession did not prevent other teachers thinking that IamDokdo_AMA was guilty.
“I didn’t feel comfortable being alone with a kid in the classroom because of the previous incident. [The other teacher] then wondered aloud if it was because I really had touched the girl.”
IamDokdo_AMA then took what some might consider a drastic step.
“I set up a camera in the back of the room to record classes because almost every week a student would accuse me of some sort of physical or verbal abuse. I finished my contract and got out of teaching. I will go home before I will ever teach in this country again,” he writes.
A former teacher, using the handle koreathrwaway27, writes that the specter of false accusations that are dealt with in an unprofessional manner haunts every foreign teacher in Korea.
“What makes a lot of foreign teachers angry and bitter is their dealings with Korean adults at work. Like [IamDokdo_AMA’s] co-teacher, who refused to believe you didn’t molest a student, then acted like you were in the wrong for trying to prevent future accusations, or kid’s parents who complain about anything in the hopes of getting a discount.”
Koreathrwaway27 is adamant that the most frustrating part of being a teacher in Korea is dealing with the adults.
“For example, a little girl tried to sit on my lap at my ASP, and I gently removed her and told her it wasn’t appropriate. The mom called and said that the girl had told her that it wasn’t fair, as the other children always got to sit on my lap, which is patently false, and that I hated her.”
“The same thing happened to another teacher at a different school. The kid actually did sit on his lap, briefly, while they read a storybook and there were like, five meetings, apology letters written, and lots of bad feelings. His co-teacher had simply agreed that he was a “probably a pervert” in an effort to make him look bad.”
Koreathrwaway27 says that there is a culture in Korean schools for shifting blame onto the first person it will stick to when a complaint is raised.
“Problems with kids can always be dealt with in an adult manner, by teachers who have each other’s back professionally. Unfortunately, it was so rare to find that with Korean teachers that I left ESL completely.”
If a teacher is found guilty of assault their visa can be suspended. They can be fined and the family can seek restitution.
If you are falsely accused of assault it is best to seek legal advice immediately.