Resources for TESOL and EFL Teachers

*Dongseo University Re-Hires Sexual Offender (David Greaves)

Teacher assaults student: (see video)

If you are in a classroom or school and if you observe Korean teachers beating or assaulting a student, (as we know goes on too frequently in Korean government schools) you will naturally wonder what to do.

a) Note the time the assault takes place.
make notes immediately after the event -of your observations of what the teacher did to the student
it is best not to get involved - you may find your actions misinterpreted and you could be charged with assault
however, as has happened in the past, if you observe a Korean teacher beating a student, and that student is severely injured / bleeding from wounds inflicted by the the Korean teacher, and you fear for the life or immediate welfare of the victim, get students to call the Police urgently, and try to restrain the teacher. Do not use excessive force - simply try to form a barrier between the teacher and student.
as soon as possible render first aid to the student
report the matter to the police immediately
report the matter to the Board of Education and Ministry of Education
advise us
advise your Embassy asap

(a) The Criminal Law System
Some Korean lawyers comment that one is presumed guilty unless you can prove your innocence! Thus the warning is clear - do not expect the same degree of rights you would enjoy under the western legal systems. Nevertheless, Korea has a Presumption of Innocence and the Prosecutor must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The major difference is that if you fight the case you do it before judges, for there is no jury system.

Once inside the Criminal Law System, you really need the assistance of lawyers. Costs are not cheap. Recently an expat teacher who was charged with issues of Internet pornography, ( and was reported in the daily papers ) and who pleaded Guilty at a very early stage of the proceedings had to pay his lawyer 5,000,000 Won for a Guilty Plea presentation. The Judge fined the teacher 5,000,000 but allowed the teacher to remain in Korea. Thus the transmission of one photo over the Internet [ not for profit ] cost the teacher 10,000,000 Won but avoided a jail sentence.

(b) What to do if arrested or questioned by police.
If you are arrested by the police you must tell them your name, address in Korea, and nationality. You must show them your Alien registration Card and Passport.

If you are unlucky enough to find yourself in this situation, you should not give any statement to the police, apart from your name, address.

In Korea, the Miranda warning is a warning given by police to criminal suspects in police custody, or in a custodial situation, before they are asked questions relating to the commission of a crime. An incriminating statement by a suspect will not constitute admissible evidence unless the suspect was advised of his or her "Miranda rights" and made a knowing, intelligent, and voluntary waiver of those rights. However, police may request biographical information such as name, date of birth, and address, without first reading suspects their Miranda warnings

Demand to see a duty lawyer:- Often the police use all sorts of tricks and false promises to get you to make a statement.

Remain silent and get legal help. Often attornies can resolve the issue quickly in your favor - remember, you make an easy target for police, attornies don't.

Also remember MIRANDA. The word is the same in Korea and pronounced similarly.

Sometimes the police try to skip this thinking that you might think you have NO rights as a foreigner.

The arresting Police must Miranda you - and then you will find the Interviewing CID will Miranda you. Ask the Police to give you the Miranda warning in English so that you understand what they saying. If they don't, ask them (politely) to write it.

The Miranda warning is a police warning that is given to criminal suspects in police custody before they are asked questions relating to the commission of crimes. Police may request biographical information such as name, date of birth and address without reading suspects their Miranda warnings.

Some specific crimes to be aware of:

Korea is one of the few countries on earth that has adultery laws on the books that are enforced. I have only known of foreign men to be prosecuted for this, not women. If you are caught sleeping with someone's wife, you may have to pay the outraged husband thousands of dollars to prevent him from taking you to court. If he does choose to prosecute, article 241 of Korean law states you can face a jail term of up to two years.

Under Korean law, adultery is a serious criminal act and carries a serious consequences. If one spouse is caught having an adulterous affair with let's say an unmarried 25-year, single person, the other spouse can press a criminal charge against the adulterous spouse and put the spouse in jail, in addition to seeking civil damages. In addition, the spouse can press criminal charge against the person who knowingly had an affair with the adulterous spouse. (Therefore, if you are a single, you should avoid sexual relations with a married person at all costs.) A majority of Korean women favor keeping this law on adultery precisely because they perceive that this law could be used as a weapon against their husbands in divorce proceedings.

Assault & Battery
Occasionally foreigners get into 'fisticuffs' with Korean nationals - usually when too much drink is involved. If you are involved in a fight and taken to the Police station for questioning, your response to police questioning may well see you charged with a subsequent penalty including possible disbarring from living/working in Korea. Because of the nature of the Korean legal system, the lesson to be learned is that if one retains a Korean attorney during the period where the police is questioning the parties for possible determination of who was at fault, it is often possible to reach a settlement with the accuser and avoid any serious conviction because under the Korean criminal law governing many types of crimes, if the accuser is persuaded to not press a charge, then the Korean prosecutor will let the defendant off. Golden Rule: Contact a lawyer in this situation


Penalties are very severe.

2) Any person who has committed the offenses under paragraph (1) for profit-making or habitually shall be punished by death penalty, imprisonment for life or for not less than 10 years
Paragraph 1
A person who imports or exports, manufactures, trades or interceding in trade of the narcotics, or who holds or possesses the narcotics for the purpose of an import or export, manufacture, trade or interceding in trade, in violations of subparagraphs 2 through 4.
(1) Any person who falls under any of the following subparagraphs shall be punished by imprisonment for not exceeding five years, or a fine not exceeding 50 million won:

1. A person who cultivates a plant forming a raw material of the narcotics, or holds or possesses a raw material, seed or seedling containing the relevant components, in violation of subparagraph 3 of Article 3 shall be punished by imprisonment for not exceeding five years, or a fine not exceeding 50 million won:

Question: What do I do if the Police Request a DNA or Urine Sample?
Unless you were actually caught in the act of using/supplying drugs, you can refuse to give urine and a DNA sample. The police officer making such a request to go to the police station must provide a proper ID and the Division and his Name and the reason for making such request and where he or she wants you to go.

Even if you comply and go to the police station, to test your urine and blood test, the police needs to get a warrant. Until such a warrant is obtained, you can refuse to take the test. During this time, you should advise your lawyer of your situation and ask him to attend at the Police Station.

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