|▲ Official Poster of ‘The Glory’ part one and Jeong Sun-Shin, former head of the National Office of Investigation (Source: Netflix, YTN News)|
The Netflix drama, ‘The Glory,’ which features the story of Moon Dong- eun, a victim of school violence in the past and now taking revenge on the assailants, is popular both at home and abroad. ‘The Glory,’ part one, which was released on December 30, 2022, was a big hit around the world, ranking first in non- English- speaking countries' TV series on Netflix's official ranking site, "Netflix Top 10," for five weeks. The success of the drama, ‘The Glory,’ also shed new light on the school violence incident at Cheongju Girls' Middle School in May 2006, similar to the way that the incident used a curling iron as a weapon. The victim of school violence at Cheongju Girls' Middle School received five to six weeks of hospitalization treatment, due to severe burns and protruded bones from her tail bone, but the assailant received only protective treatment and no criminal record.
School violence in reality is still not being eradicated. According to the National Police Agency, the number of reports of 112 incidents of school violence decreased from 7,311 in 2019 to 5,283 in 2020 due to the influence of online classes as a result of COVID- 19, but increased to 8,568 in 2021 and 11,538 in 2022. This February, lawyer Jeong Sun- shin, who was appointed as the new head of the National Investigation Division of the National Police Agency, was found that his son had been transferred to a new school due to the use of verbal abuse and other abuses against his classmates in high school. As the fact became known, Jeong Sun- shin resigned a day after his appointment. Lawyer Jeong Sun- shin's son bullied the victims verbally after entering school, which continued from 2017 to early 2018. Jeong Sun- shin's son was forced to transfer to another school due to the victim's accusation, but the actual transfer was made in February 2019, as Jeong Sun- shin applied for litigation. Due to the delay in the transfer, one of the victims often failed to go to school even after the measures were made. Lawyer Jeong Sun- shin's son went to Seoul National University in March 2020, while the two victims transferred to another school or failed to enter college for two years after graduation.
The case of lawyer Jeong Sun- shin's son revealed a loophole in the current system responding to school violence. As violent incidents in school emerged as a social issue, the government has designated a law to ensure the judgment of the School Violence Countermeasures Committee was recorded in the school records since 2012. However, if the assailant applies for an administrative appeal, lawsuit, or suspension of sentencing execution protesting the judgment, the case of school violence will not be recorded until the judgment is finalized. If the enforcement becomes delayed, it becomes difficult to separate the assailants from the victims, and the assailants become free from disadvantages affecting college entrance. Some are criticizing that the current system does not play a sufficient role in protecting victims of school violence.
At the production presentation of, ‘The Glory,’ on December 20 last year, writer Kim Eun- sook revealed the meaning of the drama’s title. "The common things that the victims of school violence had wanted, whom I met with, were sincere apologies from the assailants. Therefore, I thought about what they would be getting from the apology, but it was not about getting something back. In moments of violence, human dignity, honor, and glory of the victims are lost. It's only when you get an apology that it puts you back to the starting point. I decided to name our work, 'The Glory,' to support the victims' returning to, 'the state of origin.’" Now that social interest for school violence has increased, attention is being focused on future government- level responses to eradicate school violence. The assailants should be able to realize their faults through legal punishment and repent their past actions with sincere apologies to the victims. Institutional mechanisms should be prepared to help assailants take responsibility for their wrongdoing and ease the pain of victims.
By Kim So-ha, cub-reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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