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Teacher wears stab vest to class 'out of fear for life'

Feb. 21, 2024 - 12:38 By Yoon Min-sik
This photo provided by the North Jeolla Province division of the Korean Federation of Teachers Union shows a teacher who has been wearing an anti-stabbing vest due to the threats of a student. (KFTU)

A South Korean teacher has been making headlines for wearing a stab-resistant vest to classes, which he relayed to local media on Wednesday as intended to defend himself from a student's threats.

The teacher, working at a high school in North Jeolla Province, started wearing the protective vest after he was threatened by a student he had reprimanded in 2022. He got into an argument while disciplining a student for smoking at school, leading to a feud that has lasted for nearly two years.

The student has reportedly told other students that he intends to stab the teacher to death.

"I've told (the school) that it is an urgent matter, considering the murder threat, multiple times but to no avail. My wife has gotten very nervous after seeing me suffer for a long time, and she told me not to go to school unless I wear this," he told local Yonhap News TV.

The school initially suspended the student, but the student challenged the ruling and filed for criminal charges of child abuse against the teacher. The teacher, in turn, filed with police for charges of threats against him, citing intimidation as covered in Article 283 of the Criminal Act.

The teacher has said he plans to resign from his position.

According to the North Jeolla division of the Korean Federation of Teachers Union, the school has failed to take any measures to protect the teacher or separate him from the student. It said the teacher has been receiving mental health treatment due to stress.

The teachers' group urged the Jeonbuk State Office of Education to provide measures for the safety of the teacher.