alt
Posted : 2012-01-25 19:23
Updated : 2012-01-25 19:23

Seoul education office to proclaim controversial student rights ordinance

The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education said Wednesday that it will proclaim an ordinance on the protection of students' human rights, banning corporal punishment and allowing freedom to choose their own hairstyle and clothing, a move expected to cause conflict between the office and the education ministry.

With an aim to expand students' rights at school, the student human rights ordinance prohibits corporal punishment by teachers and discrimination against homosexuals and pregnant students, allows rallies on school grounds, and gives students freedom to choose their own hairstyle and clothing.

If promulgated, Seoul will become the third city in the country to have such an ordinance for students' human rights following Gyeonggi Province and Gwangju Metropolitan City.

The new rule, spearheaded in the capital city by liberal education chief Kwak No-hyun, was submitted to the city council for endorsement in October and was approved by the council in December despite protests from the education ministry, some teachers and conservative groups that have argued easing regulations would make it harder for teachers to control students.

During the detention and indictment of Kwak on charges of bribing a rival candidate in the 2010 election for his post, however, acting Superintendent Lee Dae-young submitted an official request to the city council earlier this year for reconsideration of the ordinance, saying it could "severely hinder public interest."

The education office may submit such a request within 20 days of the city council's approval if the resolution is deemed to be lacking in legitimacy or hinder public interest.

But Kwak withdrew the request for review upon resuming work after his release from custody last week, paving the way for the ordinance to be promulgated on Thursday and initiated by schools starting in the spring semester which begins in March.

The liberal superintendent also ordered the education officials to come up with measures to protect teachers' rights to prevent possible chaos arising from the new rules, according to sources.

The education ministry, which has long opposed the ordinance, vowed to seek diverse legal actions against the city's education office and Kwak, including filing a petition with the Supreme Court to nullify the city's resolution. The potential legal battle between the local and the central governments over a local resolution is unprecedented in the country.

If the petition is accepted, the highest court is expected to make a decision as early as next month, according to officials. (Yonhap)

  • 1. Korean women hate “it's going to be OK” sex talk
  • 2. 'Insane' video of cobras surrounding baby goes viral
  • 3. Pair arrested for having sex on beach
  • 4. Yoo's body shrouded in mystery
  • 5. Nike founder's daughter-in-law arrested on student sex suspicions
  • 6. North Korea liable for supporting rocket attacks on Israel: US court
  • 7. Man jumps from moving car to escape girlfriend
  • 8. Court upholds 20 years' jail for hoops star who killed sister-in-law
  • 9. Singer, actress Yoo dies of cancer at 41
  • 10. Lee Yoon-ji to marry dentist in September
Copy editors wanted
Experienced reporters wanted