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Video clips: South Korea: Schoolgirls

schoolgirl punished

With comments by C. Farrell

Nine video clips of schoolgirl punishment in South Korea.

Clip 1 of 9 - Classroom caning for three girls

In this 3-minute clip (whose soundtrack is badly distorted), secondary-school pupils are being punished for, it is said, low test scores. Each of three girls comes forward to be disciplined at the blackboard by the male teacher, who keeps consulting his results sheet. The cane is applied to the seat of the skirt. The first student makes a tremendous fuss, jumping about, yelling and clutching her behind after each stroke, of which she gets about six in all. She is probably "playing to the gallery", as the caning does not appear to be all that hard. The second student makes rather less fuss over her eight strokes, but there is still much rubbing of buttocks. The third girl is exemplary, marching up to the blackboard and taking eight brisk strokes calmly and without demur.


Clip 2 of 9 - Classroom paddling for four girls

A 30-second video scene showing four schoolgirls who have evidently been called out to the front of the class to be paddled. Each in turn stands facing the blackboard and receives five swats from their female teacher on the seat of the uniform skirt.


Clip 3 of 9 - Mass schoolyard caning

In this 30-second clip we see more than a dozen female students in a schoolyard, presenting themselves in the classic Korean "all fours" position to receive a caning across the seat of their skirts. A male teacher gives them two quick strokes each. This looks like a routine punishment, and the strokes appear to be mild. Nevertheless, some of the girls clutch their buttocks as they stand up after being caned.


Clip 4 of 9 - Classroom caning

In a Korean high school, a female student is summoned to the front of the class to be caned for being rude and lying. She is reluctant to come forward and appears to be challenging the teacher, perhaps denying guilt, but he insists. She comes to the desk and is given five strokes of the cane on the seat of her skirt. She remains standing up for this, rather than being made to adopt the all-fours posture which is more usual in Korean school caning. There is nothing jocular about this episode, although the strokes are not especially hard. The girl holds her bottom at the end of the punishment.

    In this improved version of the clip, the aspect ratio has been fixed so that the student and teacher now appear the correct shape during the caning.


Clip 5 of 9 - Another classroom caning

In a class of younger students, two girls are lightly caned, apparently as they pack up to leave at the end of the lesson. Each comes up to stand facing the blackboard, and the schoolmistress administers five rapid taps with the cane on their school uniform skirts.

    This is clearly not a serious punishment. I think the girls' yelling in reaction to it, and holding their bottoms afterwards, is meant as a joke. Certainly there is laughter, including from the teacher at one point.


Clip 6 of 9 - Mass whacking outside school - TV news clip

Korean schoolgirls bending over for punishmentThis is a 1½-minute news item from Korean TV on 23 May 2006.

    A short sequence within the item, evidently caught on a cameraphone, shows a large number of schoolgirls being punished outside their school.

    The girls are lined up in a row and have been made to adopt an "all-fours" or "push-ups" position while a man goes along the line, whacking each girl several times with a stick on her bottom. According to one source, 40 high-school girls were thus punished altogether, for not taking part in Teacher's Day.

    We know from other pictures that this "all-fours" posture is current in Korean schools, both as a punishment in its own right (holding the position for a length of time) and as a stance for the receipt of posterial chastisement.

    The implement being used is much too thick and heavy and rigid to be described as a cane in the British sense. It also appears not to be in conformity with the Education Ministry's rules for CP as set forth in this June 2002 news item. I would describe what we see here as almost "clubbing" rather than caning.

    The stick appears to be wielded with some force and without very much care; indeed, in Western cultural terms this treatment might be thought to be verging on the brutal. For that matter, nor would it be regarded as acceptable -- and especially not for girls -- in some other Asian countries, such as Malaysia or Singapore, where the moderate, properly regulated, formal, non-violent caning of schoolboys is routine and officially supported.

    However, the evidence is that in Korean culture this sort of thing is fairly normal and is regarded by many as a reasonable or even necessary way of dealing with misbehaving youngsters of both sexes.

    In fact it may be that in Korean terms this is fairly mild stuff, because there are also reports (and there is at least one unpleasant video clip on YouTube) of students being violently punched and thumped on the spur of the moment by angry teachers -- which of course is not corporal punishment at all, but mere indefensible brutality.

    According to this September 2003 news item, 70% of Korean schools at that time allowed corporal punishment.


Clip 7 of 9 - Complaint of excessive caning at boarding school - TV news clip

This news item from SBS TV in March 2006 reports on severe caning in a girls' boarding school in Busan, with a group of teenagers partly lifting up their skirts to show the results. The punishment appears by Western standards to have been way over the top. There are background scenes of the school including the dormitory, and a brief shot of a student's bruised buttocks receiving medical treatment. The reporter claims that some of the girls were bleeding. The punishment also included being made to run across the playground 50 times. Other more generalised mistreatment was also alleged at this school. As the clip ends, the TV reporter is seen in a contretemps with an official of the school.


Clip 8 of 9 - Light-hearted caning for lateness

In this 15-second video clip from 2008, a student gets mildly caned in the corridor for being late to school. The atmosphere is jocular.


Clip 9 of 9 - Mass caning of boys and girls

This 90-second video clip has no sound, so we cannot gauge the atmosphere. It shows a couple of boys and then several girls putting their hands on the desk to receive two strokes of the cane on the seat from their lady teacher. At the end of the clip, one of the caned girls is jumping around in pain and vigorously rubbing her buttocks.


blob See also: Overview of school CP in Korea

blob See also: Video clips: Korea: Caning of schoolboys

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