|South Korean students get bodyguards to go to school|
|Detail:|| In a controversial scheme aimed at tackling bullying in schools, the South Korean government offered free police escorts to school. Growing concern about teenage gangs and juvenile crime prompted this move. Teachers and education officials have further been empowered to be watchful of young people’s behavior at amusement arcades, adult entertainment centers and other areas outside school.|
Last year, about 6,200 South Korean students were punished for physical assaults against their peers. Some 400,000 middle and high school students were reportedly involved in gangs. In general, there are fears that traditional Confucian values and family discipline are deteriorating. Against this backdrop, the education ministry unveiled a plan to curb bullying on February 27, 2007. Currently trials are on in three districts where citizens are able to request police, private security or volunteer bodyguards for school journeys. Some schools will also get specialist police officers and more frequent street patrols. Teachers will get extra training, pupils counseling and violent juveniles after-school classes. Local companies are funding the project.
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|Source:||Story by Jonathan Watts, East Asia correspondent, Wednesday February 28, 2007, The Guardian|