Court rules against foreign professor for mocking students [2015/04/01 14:05]

A Seoul court on Sunday ruled in favor of a university`s decision not to renew the contract of a foreign professor, after he was found to have ridiculed his students` English essays on social media. The Seoul Administrative Court recognized EwhaWomans University`s refusal to rehire its former employee last year as legal, stating that “the professor failed to maintain proper conduct as an educator.”

In September 2013, the former professor posted several remarks on his Facebook mocking grammatically awkward English phrases that his students wrote in their assignments, stating that he couldn`t “help but laugh.” Following his initial post, the South African educator -- who began teaching a general undergraduate English course at the university in 2012 -- continued uploading similar posts, mocking his students` lack of English abilities with his friends.

The university had claimed the incident was only one among the ex-professor`s unprofessional behaviors. In the past, the former professor reportedly uploaded postings asking how to say certain English swear phrases in Korean. He also reportedly left the country for vacation without notifying or receiving approval from the university, failing to show up for his courses.

The university decided not to renew his contract in February 2014. Since losing his teaching position, the ex-professor brought his case to the Appeal Commission for Teachers, which requested the university to reconsider its decision. The university responded by filing a lawsuit.

The court ruled in favor of the university under the premise that the ex-professor, whose online postings had included vulgar English phrases, displayed “highly deplorable behavior that strayed far from what is required of an educator.” “Publicly mocking grammatical mistakes that his students made in an English course is highly condemnable behavior unfit for an educator,” the judge said.

“The students who wrote the English essays ridiculed by the (former) professor likely suffered psychological damage while the university sustained damage to its public image and reputation.”
출처: 헤럴드미디어 영자신문 코리아헤럴드 (www.koreaherald.com)