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Parent assaults day care center worker with baby excrement; angry public urges lawmakers to act

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A photo provided by a day care center worker shows herself with baby excrement smeared on her face. Screencapture from JTBC

By Kim Se-jeong

More than 50,000 citizens have called on the legislative body to take action to better protect teachers' rights following a recent assault of a day care center staff member after a parent threw a diaper with baby excrement.

The alleged assault began to gain attention after the worker's husband posted a petition on the National Assembly's website, Sept. 12, to call for public support for legal protections for workers and teachers at day care centers and education facilities.

Earlier this month, the parents in question claimed that their two-year-old child received insufficient care at the center in Sejong, which resulted in an injury after a scuffle with another child. As the injured child was hospitalized for treatment, the worker and the head of the center visited the hospital to apologize for their oversight. The mother then threw the child's diaper containing excrement at the worker's face.

The worker's husband then took the humiliating case to the Assembly's website, and his petition gained more than 50,000 endorsements from the public in four days, which will oblige the relevant Assembly committee to review the petition.

"I've witnessed many unpleasant incidents involving teachers and education workers, but never something like this: a baby's excrement on a worker's face. And the worker is my wife," stated the petition filed by the husband who is also a teacher. "Inadequate teachers can be reprimanded, but how about inadequate parents? Do we have measures to hold them accountable? Teachers and education workers need protections and I seek your help."

The worker filed a complaint with the police against the parent for assault leading to an injury. The parent apologized to the worker for her behavior but insisted she had good reason to be upset.

"My child said he had gotten scared when left alone in the dark. Astonished, I asked the day care center what had happened but initially, they didn't tell the truth. Only when I obtained evidence in CCTV footage, did they admit to leaving him alone, saying the boy had wanted it," the mother was quoted as saying by Yonhap.

She also requested the police to investigate the worker and the center over child abuse, accusing them of repeatedly mistreating her child.

The incident took place as Korea has been grappling with teachers who have had enough of being pushed around by students' parents and who are demanding legal protection for their rights at school, following a number of teachers' suicides allegedly related to abusive parents.

Tens of thousands of teachers have staged protests in front of the Assembly almost every weekend since July.

Kim Se-jeong


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