The government vowed Thursday to strengthen measures to prevent school bullying, including more extensive use of surveillance cameras and security personnel, in the wake of the recent death of a 15-year-old student.
The teenager from Gyeongsan, North Gyeongsang Province took his own life on Monday, leaving behind a note detailing repeated bullying by his peers. It was the 14th bullying-related death in the Daegu region since December 2011.
The government plans to introduce a series of new measures, such as installing high resolution, closed-circuit cameras. There are now more than 80,000 cameras in schools, but many are low resolution. The government will replace these and expand the use of hi-res cameras at nearly all schools across the country.
The proportion of schools with security personnel is to be expanded from the current 32 percent to 86 percent by 2015, the Prime Minister’s Office announced Thursday following a meeting with senior officials from related government bodies.
Other measures include enhancing check-ups by police officers, increasing punishment for school bullies and developing more anti-bullying education programs.
Early last year the government enacted a series of measures including creating a hotline and website offering tips on school bullying and installing more closed-circuit cameras in schools.
The latest victim’s own testimony, however, has raised questions about the effectiveness of the government’s measures to control school violence.
The 15-year-old wrote that surveillance cameras were of no use ― the victim’s school has 19 cameras, but they failed at detecting the bullying as it took place.
An official from the association for victims of school violence said that new measures were important, but how to apply them was more crucial.
“I hope teachers pay more attention to their students and speak with them,” he added.
By Oh Kyu-wook (email@example.com