Poll shows 1.2 pct of young students suffering abuse at school

SEOUL-- More than one out of every 100 elementary and secondary students in South Korea suffered some form of abuse at school last year, according to a poll released Wednesday.

In the poll of about 130,000 students from fourth to 11th grades conducted by the Ministry of Education last September, 1.2 percent were found to have experienced abuse at the hands of schoolmates.

Some 2.1 percent of elementary school students, 0.8 percent of middle school students and 0.3 percent of high school students had been victim to ill-treatment at school, ministry officials said.

In an earlier survey carried out by the same ministry last August, 1.6 percent of all elementary and secondary students said they had suffered abuse at school, with the ratio of victims standing at 3.6 percent among elementary school students, 0.8 percent among middle school students and 0.4 percent among high school students.

Ministry officials noted there was a slight decrease in prevalence between the August and September polls.

The August poll was conducted on more than 90 percent of all students from fourth to 12th grades, while the September survey sampled only 4 percent of them.

According to the September poll, verbal abuse was the most common form of attack, accounting for 39 percent of cases, with bullying ranking second at 19.5 percent.

Notably, 10.6 percent of polled students said they had been stalked, while cyberbullying and violence were cited by 8.2 percent and 7.7 percent, respectively. In the August survey, cyberbullying, stalking and violence were cited by 8.9 percent, 8.7 percent and 8.6 percent, respectively.

The ratio of students complaining about sexual harassment or assault rose from 3.9 percent in the first poll to 5.7 percent in the second poll. Among high school students, sexual harassment or assault was the third most common form of incident at 12.5 percent.

Meanwhile, 0.6 percent of all respondents -- 1.2 percent of elementary students, 0.5 percent of middle school students and 0.1 percent of high school students -- said they had inflicted abuse on schoolmates.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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