By Kim Rahn
Students at a high school in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province, stood in the pouring rain on the playground. They refused to attend class and called for an apology from a teacher, after one of their female schoolmates attempted suicide following corporal punishment and an insult from the teacher.
Police booked the 44-year-old teacher, whose name was not disclosed, without physical detention for violence.
Some 80 students of the school refused to attend lectures and staged a protest in the middle of the school playground Wednesday morning, demanding the teacher make an open apology and the school reveal the truth.
The move came a day after the 16-year-old girl was found unconscious in her room after taking 10 nervine pills. Her mother, Lee, transferred her to a hospital, and the girl was revived after having her stomach pumped.
In a written note she said that other teachers denounced her as a liar about the incident in which the teacher hit her about a month ago.
According to the mother, the teacher took the girl to the restroom and slapped her on the cheek and kicked her for about an hour because the girl was asleep during class on April 14.
Since the incident, the girl's parents demanded the teacher make an open apology and the school send the teacher to another school, but the school has refused, Lee said.
``Some of her friends told her Monday that the teachers spoke ill of her in front of other students, such as `she seems to be a psycho.' After hearing it from them, my girl said she might not go to school anymore,'' the mother said.
The protesting students returned to class in the afternoon after teachers promised to come up with proper measures if the students formally express their opinion through a student representative.
The teacher was hospitalized at a mental clinic suffering a suspected nervous breakdown after the girl's family visited her to protest Tuesday morning, a school official said.