Teachers Seek to Warn Students of US Beef Risk
By Bae Ji-sook
The government and a group of progressive teachers are clashing over the latter's telling students that eating American beef is risky. The government admonished the teachers, Wednesday, for making political comments during classes, but members of the progressive Korean Teachers and Education Workers' Union (KTU) are claiming that eating U.S. beef is a matter of life and death.
The Gyeonggi branch of the union also posted a banner next to a school gate in Euijeongbu, north of Seoul, Tuesday, claiming the government was trying to cause competition among students by adopting pre-morning classes and separating students by ability. Below the comments, they said they opposed American beef imports.
The teachers explained that they initially wanted to tell students that the import resumption means U.S. beef will be coming straight to their cafeterias, and could possibly harm their health. They also sought to send out letters to parents encouraging them to participate in candlelit protests against U.S. beef imports.
However, the school disapproved of such ``promotion.''
The provincial education office also said that ``sending out political messages to parents or students conflicts with the duty of being a teacher.''