A member of U-KISS, Hoon, today uploaded an Instagram post with a lengthy text in Korean.
In the post, he revealed that one of his family members - an elementary school student- was beaten up by a bully, who is his classmate. The victim is now in critical condition.
Hoon's post was translated into English by fellow member Eli, who posted it on his Instagram account.
There is currently a child unconscious and hospitalised due to bullying by a classmate at Mokpo Seoha Elementary School in Jeonnam Province. If he returns consciousness he will remain at a mental state of a three to four-year-old. The child who is in the hospital is a family member of mine and I am so angry and upset because I was told that the parents of the bully were standing outside the hospital room laughing and joking around. Currently, my family is not receiving any comfort because this problem cannot be investigated by authorities due to it being between minors. How ridiculous. I do not know what to do. I just pray that he regains consciousness…
Eli, who has a two-year-old son, weighed in on the situation, writing, "Reading this and hearing about others being brutally abused on the news do to bullying, and not receiving any punishment because they are minors makes me wonder if I can send my children to school. Not knowing if our children will be safe in general, is the scariest feeling. But at school???? A place to make friends and learn…… some things need to change….."
Although the statistics from a study done by Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) indicates that the percentage of bullying in South Korea is lower than the global average, there has been reports of severe bullying cases, including the Busan bullying attack, in which a 14-year-old girl was beaten up by a group of girls for one hour for having a "bad attitude".
Bullying exists in Singapore too. The same study found that 25.1 per cent of students in Singapore have experienced "any type of bullying"-higher than the global average of 18.7 per cent.
In the age of social media, videos of bullying incidents are sometimes circulated online. Last year, a video of Westwood Secondary School beating up their classmate in a classroom went viral after it was uploaded on Facebook. In the same year, another video of a fight taking place in a classroom at St. Hilda's Secondary School also went viral.
It's important to note that bullying doesn't only entail physical assault. Verbal and emotional abuse, and cyberbullying, are also forms of bullying.
In fact, bullying doesn't stop after you graduate. Bullying can exist in the workplace too.
If you experience bullying in the office, it's best to escalate the matter to your manager or someone from the human resource department. If it entails physical or sexual assault or harassment, make a police report.
This article was first published in CLEO Singapore