Tragic Suicide of Yongin Elementary School Teacher Highlights Parental Complaint Trauma

Title: Elementary School Teacher Commits Suicide Amidst Parental Complaints: Urgent Need for Support Systems


In a tragic incident that came to light recently, a Yongin Elementary School teacher in Gyeonggi Province took his own life due to excessive stress caused by constant complaints from parents and severe depression. The teacher, who had been traumatized by past experiences with parental grievances, made desperate efforts to avoid being assigned as a class teacher even after being transferred to another school.


According to Kookmin Ilbo’s report, the 50-year-old teacher, Mr. Choi, had faced complaints from parents regarding an incident that occurred in October 2019. The incident involved Mr. A, an external theater instructor, physically handling a student, B, in Mr. Choi’s 6th-grade class. Although the parents accused Mr. A of child abuse, they later shifted the blame onto Mr. Choi, questioning his responsibility and threatening legal action.

Neglected Appeal for Support

Despite Mr. Choi’s plea to be assigned as a subject teacher due to the trauma caused by the incident, the school administration overlooked his request and assigned him as a homeroom teacher for a fourth-grade class. This decision was made, citing the prioritization of other teachers, including pregnant ones. Subsequently, Mr. Choi’s mental health deteriorated, leading to a diagnosis of depression and his subsequent sick leave.

A Death on the Job

Mr. Choi’s death is considered to be a direct consequence of the relentless parental harassment he endured. A fellow teacher who was close to Mr. Choi confirmed that he exhibited symptoms of anxiety, ultimately resulting in his diagnosis of depression. This tragic incident highlights the urgent need for supportive measures for teachers facing similar challenges.

The Cry for Change

Hwang Yu-jin, head of policy at the Federation of Teachers’ Unions, emphasized that many teachers shoulder an excessive burden as homeroom teachers, taking full responsibility for all classroom issues. He emphasized the necessity for a systemic change that empowers and protects educators facing such situations.


The untimely demise of Mr. Choi at the Yongin Elementary School following persistent parental complaints serves as a stark reminder of the immense pressure teachers face. This tragic incident should prompt educators, school authorities, and policymakers to establish comprehensive support systems, ensuring the mental well-being of teachers who dedicate themselves to the noble task of shaping young minds.

Source: Kookmin Ilbo | Reporter: Kim Yong-hyeon | Email:

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Yongin Elementary School Teacher Trauma Complaint Parent
It was belatedly known that he committed suicide in March 2020.
I applied to be a subject teacher, but was reassigned to a homeroom teacher… immediate absence

It was later revealed that an elementary school teacher in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, was suffering from stress due to complaints from parents and suffering from severe depression, so she took an extreme decision while on sick leave. This teacher, who complained of the trauma of parental complaints, is said to have tried to avoid being assigned as a class teacher even in the school to which he was transferred.

According to Kookmin Ilbo’s comment on the 3rd, Mr Choi, a teacher in his 50s, suffered complaints from parents due to a problem that occurred between a student and an external instructor in the grade 6 class he was responsible for in October 2019. Mr Choi jumped from a roof the apartment building where he lived on March 16, 2020, approximately five months after the incident.

According to Yongin West Police Station in Gyeonggi Province, which investigated the incident, Mr A, an external theater instructor, grabbed student B by the collar and took him out of the classroom when he was not sitting down. The parents of Group B claimed that Mr. A have been verbally abused, including profanity, but this charge was not mentioned in the indictment written by the police at the time. Mr. Choi was in the van at the time.

Boy B’s parents are said to have threatened to sue his homeroom teacher, Mr Choi, saying they would also hold him responsible. A fellow teacher who was close to Mr. Choi told Kookmin Ilbo, “The parents accused the theater instructor of child abuse (violence), but later they passed the blame to Mr. Choi, saying, ‘What was the homeroom teacher doing it at the time and why wasn’t it with us?” He said, “He threatened me by talking about suing me.”

This fellow teacher claimed, “I personally heard that Professor Choi developed anxiety symptoms due to constant parental harassment, and was eventually diagnosed with depression and took sick leave.” He also claimed, “Mr Choi’s death was clearly a death on the job due to complaints from parents.”

The following year, Mr. Choi, who was transferred to another elementary school in Yongin, applied to the school to become a subject teacher, saying that he could no longer serve as a homeroom teacher. However, even after hearing about Choi’s situation, including what happened at her previous school, the school assigned her a fourth-grade homeroom teacher, saying there were teachers who needed to be considered first, such as pregnant teachers. Shortly afterwards, Mr Choi was diagnosed with depression and took sick leave. And soon after that, he turned his back on the world.

The West Yongin Department closed the case and concluded that there was no suspicion of murder. A police official said on this day, “In Mr. Choi’s personal notebook found at home, a note expressing the hardships of his teaching career was found even before October, when the incident of child abuse by a theater instructor occurred.”

At the time, the bereaved family also told the police, “I was under a lot of stress because of the drama coach incident. He was reported to have stated, “I went on sick leave because of depression, but I couldn’t solve it, so I chose to commit suicide while on vacation.” Choi’s note stated that he was experiencing difficulties in his teaching career after the incident and that his health, including gastrointestinal disease, was deteriorating.

Hwang Yu-jin, head of policy at the Federation of Teachers’ Unions, said, “So many teachers suffer because they take full responsibility for issues that happen in the classroom just because they are homeroom teachers. “A system is desperately needed,” he said.

Reporter Kim Yong-hyeon

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