Friday, July 17, 2009

Child Abuse?

I can't log into Blogger from my work computer, so I wrote this as a Facebook note. I've just copied & pasted it here. I'll probably blog about it again.
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Friday, July 17 2009 - 8:40am

I've just arrived at work.

I saw something disturbing a few minutes ago. Walking to work, as I turned a corner I heard a child crying. I didn't expect to see what I did. A girl (maybe 10 years old) was standing naked, holding a paper with a message on it. Who I assume was her mother was standing next to her, arms folded, giving her a death stare. My instant reaction was that I had to take a photo (to ask my Korean friends what the paper read) and - SURELY, what I saw was wrong.

But I couldn't pull out my green neon camera and snap this weeping child - who was standing naked in the street. Naked. Crying.

I walked on, but turned to look back over my shoulder a couple of times. So many people walking towards her were slowing down and mothers walking their children to school had a confusing look on their face.

I arrived at school, and told one of my co-teachers (Mr Oh) what I'd seen.
"Maybe she's being punished?" he said.
"But isn't that illegal?" I asked.
It is.

I just told another friend at school about it, and she told me that she'd heard about it. The paper read:

"I am a liar"

What do you think? I'm really disturbed by this.

Update: 9:45am

I told my other co-teacher about this. She was very upset to hear this. She said that it constitutes as child abuse. And she just shook her head in disappointment saying, "That girl will NEVER forget today for the rest of her life."

I honestly don't know if the girl is one of my student's. I couldn't bear to look at her face. It is very likely that she is a student at our school, since this happened just around the corner from the school. Apparently, no one can question or confront the parent, but if necessary - it can be exposed in the media. I know of other teacher's who walk that route in the morning and will ask them if they saw it.

But - so far no one has reacted as it being 'normal' or acceptable.

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