The Korea Herald


Bereaved family protests police's case closure on teacher's death

Family, teachers' group invites foreign correspondents in Seoul to press conference

By Park Jun-hee

Published : Nov. 15, 2023 - 19:43

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(Yonhap) (Yonhap)

The bereaved family of a 23-year-old elementary school teacher who took her own life in July on Wednesday protested the police's decision to close the investigation into the case, holding a press conference with foreign media in Seoul.

The press conference was in response to the police's announcement on Tuesday saying they found no evidence of any crime and wrapped up the monthslong probe.

The family said the closure was "too hasty" and that there were other factors and potential evidence to assess.

“There’s a part that the police said that the bereaved family had agreed to the (closure), but that is not true,” Park Doo-Yong, the deceased teacher’s cousin, said during the press conference.

Park said police told the family she committed suicide after breaking up with her boyfriend.

"They (the police) said the higher-ups were sensitive about it (the case), and the police urged the bereaved family members to hold a funeral quickly,” Park said.

Park added that the family members had demanded a reinvestigation, but to no avail.

The first-grade teacher, who taught at an elementary school in Seocho-gu, southern Seoul, struggled with a large workload, and had to deal with a student who had allegedly misbehaved in class and had pushy parents, according to the family.

The young teacher’s death prompted teachers to take themselves to the streets to demand better protection and teaching rights in and out of schools. In light of the incident, South Korea’s Education Ministry in August rolled out a set of new class policies to bolster waning teachers’ rights.