Prof. Kim In-hye
By Han Sang-hee
Kim In-hye, a popular soprano and a professor at Seoul National University, has denied allegations that she habitually used violence while teaching over the past 10 years.
The denial came several days after the prestigious school announced that it is investigating Kim following complaints from students.
Professor Kim told the DongA Ilbo Wednesday that she ``was taught in the same way she taught her own students and she did not think it was bad.’’
The investigation began when one of Kim’s pupils filed a complaint this month to the school authorities, saying that the professor would slap them in the face during class.
Other complaints included her throwing key chains and a mirror at her students, throwing flowers after a performance because the students didn’t applaud loud enough and forcing them to buy tickets for her concerts.
Kim did not deny that she hit her students, but explained that she did not consider it as physical violence.
``I do tend to have a temper and I might have hit students in the stomach and back harder than other professors so I do think some students may have thought it was a bit overboard,’’ she said, saying that sometimes professors hit or push students in the back when teaching phonics and sometimes push their heads during voice training.
``Vocal music cannot be taught only using words, and so this is a very obvious method,’’ she said.
On the incident where she threw flowers and a mirror at her students, the professor said that the facts were distorted, adding that she may have thrown them but it was to keep her students in line.
Kim also denied accusations that she made her students buy tickets for her show. ``My performances were always sold out. There is no reason for me to force my students to purchase tickets,’’ she said.
Kim graduated from SNU and continued to study at Juilliard School. She recently started to gain popularity as she appeared on the popular TV entertainment show ``Star King’’ on SBS.
With the news of the assaults against her pupils, Kim is drawing severe criticism from netizens. Some bloggers and tweeters are demanding she stop appearing on the popular TV program.
The professor filed a complaint to SNU through her lawyer that the school rushed investigations without summoning the professor involved. The daily also reported that she is planning to take legal action against those who exposed negative information about her, without confirming the truth.
성악 교수, "폭력 교수" 의혹 부인
유명 소프라노 가수인 김인혜(49·여) 서울대 음대 교수는 지난 10년 동안 학생들을 습관적으로 폭력을 쓰며 가르쳤다는 주장을 부인했다.
김 교수의 성명은 며칠 전 서울대 측에서는 학생 진정서를 접수하고 진상 조사 중이라는 발표에 따른 것이다.
지난 수요일 김 교수는 동아일보와의 인터뷰 에서 “저도 그렇게 배웠습니다. 잘못된 것이라고는 전혀 생각하지 못했습니다"라고 말했습니다.
김 교수는 학생들을 훈련시키려는 의미로 때린 사실을 시인했으나 그것이 폭력이라고 생각하지 않는다고 해명했다.
“성격이 다혈질인 데다 과격하다 보니 학생을 가르칠 때 배나 등을 때리고 머리를 흔드는 게 다른 교수보다 셀 수 있어 학생 입장에서는 심하게 느껴졌을 수도 있다”라며 "교수마다 정도 차이는 있지만 유명 성악가인 다른 교수도 학생의 머리를 흔들거나 치면서 가르친다"라고 말했다.
"성악은 절대 말로만 가르칠 수 없고 이런 교육법이 당연한 방식"이라고 말했다.
김 교수는 서울대 졸업하고 미국 줄리아드 학교에서 유학했다. SBS 예능 프로그램 "스타킹"에 출연하며 최근에 대중적인 인기를 얻기 시작했다.
한편 김 교수는 이번 논란을 통해 누리꾼들의 강한 비판 대상이 되었다. 일부 블로거들과 트위터 사용자들은 김 교수가 "스타킹" 출연을 그만해야 한다는 요구를 펼치고 있다.