After the death of a teacher at Seoi Elementary School, teachers fell into a sense of desperation that “there should be no next one” and frustration that there was no clue to protecting their rights.
Psychiatrists diagnosed the current phenomenon as a state of ‘collective trauma.’ Professor Kim Hyun-soo, a professor of psychiatry and principal of an alternative school, emphasized, “Laws and systems must be improved for teachers to escape collective trauma.”
“The Ministry of Education’s response to malicious complaints increased collective trauma.”
Collective trauma refers to the psychological impact experienced by a group of people who are directly or indirectly exposed to a painful event. Unlike individual trauma, the whole group feels hurt, fear, or vulnerable because people within the group are closely related to the event or people in question.
In this case, the death of a teacher at Seoi Elementary School began, and the Ministry of Education’s response is criticized for increasing the ‘collective trauma’ of teachers.
Teachers’ anger grew as it became known that three teachers had died in succession in two months. Last July, a new teacher at Seoi Elementary School in Seocho-gu, a mid-career teacher at Shinmok Elementary School in Yangcheon-gu on the 31st of last month, and a senior teacher in Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do, one year before retirement age, died on the 3rd.
Among these, the response put forward by the Ministry of Education ignited the anger of teachers.
In response to the Seoi Elementary School teacher’s 49th memorial rally, the Ministry of Education warned several times that ‘teachers who took collective action such as annual leave, sick leave, and discretionary leave, as well as administrators (principal, vice principal) who approved teachers’ service will be punished.’
However, as opposition grew stronger, with 200,000 teachers (estimated by the organizers) gathering at a rally held in Yeouido on the 2nd, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education Lee Joo-ho made a direct reference to disciplinary action, issuing an appeal on the 3rd to “protect the school.” We avoided it and started to ‘control the water level’.
On the 5th, a day after the rally, Deputy Prime Minister Lee announced the disciplinary policy at the general meeting of the National Assembly’s Budget and Accounts Special Committee, saying, “I have learned of the hearts of the majority of teachers who mourn for the deceased and wish for their teaching rights to be restored.” He said, “There will be no disciplinary action against teachers.” Withdrawn.
Mr. Park (25), a second-year elementary school teacher in Ulsan who attended the Seoi Elementary School teacher’s 49th memorial service, said, “What really makes me angry is the Ministry of Education’s response.” Mr. Park expressed his anger, saying, “When a malicious complaint was filed against a teacher, the Office of Education and the school administrator did not protect the teacher. Now, even the Ministry of Education has pointed a knife at the teacher,” and added, “I have doubts about my job.”
Mr. Lee (25), an elementary school teacher in Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do, also said, “I was devastated because I felt like the Ministry of Education was there to discipline and oppress teachers.”
Professor Kim Hyun-soo, a psychiatrist and principal of the alternative school ‘Growth School Star’, said in a phone call with CBS Nocut News on the 5th, “Teachers are defenselessly exposed to repeated malicious complaints, and the Ministry of Education does not even accept the teachers’ demands, causing collective trauma. “It was triggered,” he analyzed the cause.
Baek Jong-woo, a professor of psychiatry at Kyung Hee University Hospital, said in a phone call with CBS Nocut News, “The problem of a decline in academic authority has probably accumulated within the three years of social distancing due to COVID-19,” and analyzed, “The teachers’ memorial procession reflects the crisis at the school.”
“There may be a teacher shortage due to increased resignations and leaves of absence.”
As the death of teachers became public and caused a social stir, a survey also showed that the proportion of teachers who have considered extreme choices is two to five times higher than the general population of non-teachers.
According to a survey conducted by the National Teachers and Education Workers Union and Green Hospital on 3,505 teachers from the 16th to the 23rd of last month메이저사이트, 16% responded that they had “considered suicide.” 4.5% said, ‘I have made a specific plan.’
Compared to the general population’s suicidal thoughts of 3-7% and suicide plans of 0.5-2%, teachers’ risk of making extreme choices is 2-5 times higher.
But for teachers, this isn’t that surprising. Mr. Lee (25), an elementary school teacher, said, “Teachers’ suffering due to malicious complaints is taken for granted in schools,” and “Many of my colleagues suffered from depression and panic disorder due to the complaints.”
Professor Kim Hyun-soo interpreted the survey, saying, “Although more in-depth investigation is needed regarding the survey, it appears to contain public opinion (of teachers).”
Oh Sang-hoon, a professor of psychiatry at Uijeongbu Eulji University Hospital, believed that if collective trauma worsens, school manpower problems may arise. Professor Oh said, “If collective trauma worsens, it will become difficult for teachers to focus on teaching children. Furthermore, as more teachers resign or take leave, there may be a shortage of manpower.”
To escape collective trauma… “Improving the legal system is most important”
Professor Kim Hyun- soo said, “In order to escape collective trauma, finding the truth and improving the legal system are most important.” He also criticized, saying, “The issue of violation of religious rights should not be regarded as a personal illness, as if the deceased had a mental problem (originally).”
He then pointed out the structure that allows teachers to resolve parental complaints. Professor Kim said, “If a complaint arises against a doctor in a hospital, the problem is resolved by the hospital problem service team without the doctor contacting the doctor,” and added, “We need to improve the system where all the burden falls on the individual.”
Professor Baek Jong-woo said, “The successive deaths of teachers will be a huge shock to the bereaved families and teachers,” and emphasized that they must first receive treatment from a mental health expert. Professor Baek said, “Then we need to diagnose the cause and prepare measures to prevent recurrence.”
Professor Baek said , “It is difficult for people in despair to ask for help on their own,” and added , “People around them should quickly find it and help them . ”
Professor Sang-Hoon Oh said, “When collective trauma occurs, it is most important to detect and intervene in people experiencing emotional difficulties early,” and added, “We need to build an online platform where they can quickly receive help.”
Meanwhile, since the death of a teacher at Seoi Elementary School last July, teachers have been holding large-scale urban rallies every weekend to prevent reports of indiscriminate child abuse and ensure legitimate educational activities for teachers. On the 4th, ‘Public Education Stop Day’, teachers took annual leave or sick leave to attend the rally.