A former high school student has lost a suit which she filed to annul a school's disciplinary action against her after she hit a teacher. A local court ruled that a student hitting a teacher in reaction to corporal punishment did not constitute legitimate self-defense.
The Seoul Administrative Court Thursday ruled against the 18-year-old student, who graduated from a science high school in Seoul and is now a university freshman.
According to the court, the unidentified girl was taking a rope-skipping test during a physical education class last November. A sophomore at the time, she needed to take the test to graduate early. When the teacher did not let her take the test at her designated turn, she protested, speaking impolitely.
The teacher demanded she move aside so that other students could continue the test, but she refused. He then hit her on the head with an attendance book he was holding. The girl slapped the teacher on the cheek, and then the teacher attacked her with his hands and feet, causing her to receive medical treatment for 12 weeks.
The school ordered her to take six days of special lectures for disobeying and hitting the teacher. She accepted the punishment, but filed the suit later to annul the measure, claiming her action was legitimate self-defense against the teacher's improper instruction and corporal punishment.
The court, however, rejected her claim saying, ``It is wrong for a teacher to hit a student with the attendance book despite protest, but slapping the teacher on the cheek is neither a proper reaction nor self-defense.''
Actually I agree that slapping a teacher after the first hit was a bad move, but maybe that's because I've been desensitized by seeing lots of more, um, vigorous punishment at school. But Christ, how can a teacher beat a student bad enough to require 12 weeks of treatment and get away with it?
It also said that the school's discipline was not an abuse of its discretion even though the student received serious injuries inflicted by the teacher.
The teacher was earlier fined 3 million won and received a disciplinary warning, after the student sued him over the attack.
Wow, that's quite a message to send to teachers.