After an elementary school asked its first graders to sign and pledge a suicide prevention vow, one of the parents has filed a lawsuit against the school, garnering attention among the netizens in Korea.
On May 16th, the parent who filed the lawsuit shared the incident that happened in their child’s elementary school through an online community. According to the parent, the vow contained sentences such as:
“I value, love, and respect myself as well as my life, thus, I promise to do the following:
1. I _____ will never commit suicide or try to hurt myself.
2. I will take suitable rest and sleep for my good health.
3. I will get rid of all the tools that can help me to commit suicide and will not depend on alcohol, cigarette, drugs, etc.
4. In order to refrain from committing suicide, I will tell the person if they have hurt my feelings and will ask for counselling if I experience any difficulties.”
The parent stated, “Why would a first grader sign and pledge this vow? Does the school and responsible teachers know what they are doing by thinking that elementary students would actually understand the terrifying words written in the vow? The expression used to describe the ‘value of life’ is not written in a format that is appropriate for the students, instead, it has been drafted merely to educate awareness and decrease suicidal rate. I hope the department of education as well as the school deeply realize and reflect on what an appropriate content for students is in order to learn the importance of life.”
Although the vow was clearly intended to prevent childhood suicide, many, including the parents, have been criticizing the school for releasing such inappropriate and bizarre content, especially for young elementary students.
Check out some of the comments left by the netizens:
1. [+641, -9] I get that they mean well but I don’t think it’s appropriate to approach the issue as such a serious matter to elementary school students. They could’ve just left the vow to say simple things like, “I promise to love myself”, “I promise to love my friends”, “I promise to love animals”, etc.. I think the teacher thought too far ahead.
2. [+409, -15] Vows like this should be made by the educators responsible for the children. Teachers should make sure that students can come to school happy and without thoughts of suicide.
3. [+172, -6] It’s not that the vow is wrong but it’s expressed so explicitly…
4. [+13, -2] Would 8 year old kids even understand suicide? I feel like the vow could’ve been approached in a more simpler, natural manner that’s easier for the kids to understand.
5. [+13, -4] I feel like this vow would be something you’d find at a mental hospital. It’s way too serious for little kids.
6. [+11, -6] So they basically forced a bunch of little kids to write a vow promising not to commit suicide and have their parents sign it? ㅡㅡ Yeah, such great education nowadays. Instead of getting to the root of the problem on why kids commit suicide and finding a solution to it, they’re just forcing kids to sign a piece of paper saying they won’t do it. So idiotic.