Saturday, May 12, 2007

Shut your mouth...

Korea, this is yet another reason why you are struggling to compete in the area of English education:

A fellow English teacher/blogger is being sued for libel by his former Korean employers. Libel here in Korea is different from our American concept. In America, libel is saying something that is harmful and untrue. Here, it just has to damage a person's reputations. Get this
"Unlike the United States, Korea does not exalt free speech as a constitutional right. However, the Korean Constitution does recognize a right to reputation. In other words, reputation enjoys higher standing under Korean law than free speech." -- Brendon Carr, a law consultant quoted in the Korean Herald
I used to subscribe and link to ZenKimchi. I was alerted to this situation by a fellow blogger, Torgodevil, at A Geek in Korea. After reading about this, I switched that last blog about one of my bosses to friend-read-only mode on Facebook.

This is scary stuff. I can't imagine what I'd do if I ran into major problems like this with my employer. Overall, my complaints are minor--normal work problems. The only big problem I had was at the beginning of my job when I got paid a week late. I had tried to contact people to find out why, and I got ignored and blown-off.

A Geek in Korea recounts a story about a Korean friend of his:
She went to the labor board twice to complain because her school refused to pay her wages due...In fact, the hakwon that refused to pay this woman actually demanded an apology from her. They said they’d pay only if she apologized for them to court.
Unbelievable! The thief demands an apology for being exposed as a thief.

Korea, you expect great things from your foreign English teachers, but don't protect us when we are wronged. Then, you allow those who have wronged us to come after us for pointed out their wrong.

A Geek in Korea
Korea Herald's Article

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