An Australian teacher has been blacklisted by the Korean government for an email in which he which he suggested that he might be HIV positive, and wished his ex-girlfriend would contract AIDS from their sexual contact.
Allegations of improper conduct against expatriate English instructors in Korea refuse to go away. The Korea Foreign Teacher Recruiting Association estimates that about 10 percent of the 20,000-30,000 foreign instructors working here are fired after they were found to have committed sexual improprieties or refused to teach classes.
It cites the case of a Korean woman identified as Kim who says she met an English instructor from Australia at a friend’s birthday party. Kim went out with him for several months. When she broke up with him, the Australian sent her an e-mail in February saying he had had sex with two prostitutes in the Philippines without using condoms in 2006 and Kim had been his next date. He said he was so afraid that he could not tell her about it, and had not had an HIV test. The instructor said Kim “deserved” to get AIDS considering what she did to him.
The KFTRA has added the instructor to a blacklist of 68 foreign instructors accused of sexual harassment and contract breaches. The association told institutes not to hire the Australian.
I wonder what she “did” to him that was so bad?
UPDATE: Commenter macdonaldduck questioned the authenticity of the email (pictured below) in an as yet unpublished letter to the Choson Ilbo.
I am writing to lodge a vigorous protest against your recent article “Australian English Teacher Blacklisted for AIDS Threat” (May 28, 2007).
The article is equally erroneous and unfair. In fact, it is constructed entirely upon a transparent lie.
A quick reading of the email supposedly sent by the English teacher in question reveals that it was unmistakably NOT written by a native speaker of English. Within just five lines of text, the writer omits essential articles (”the,” “a”) in three places. In fact, upon rereading, it appears that the email does not contain even one article: in every single place where an English-speaker would unfailingly use one, the writer omits to do so. It’s a very simple deduction that the true author of the inflammatory email is in fact the estranged girlfriend–not the English teacher.
Having demonstrated that your article, based entirely upon a fraud, is erroneous in its entirety, I wish also to address its patent unfairness. Not content to expose this one English teacher to public humiliation, you generalize, in your opening line, about “allegations of improper conduct against expatriate English instructors in Korea.” This is the journalistic equivalent of examining the Cho Seung-Hui case under a heading of “Korean criminality.” It is grossly and transparently wrong.
Further, your choice to black out the name of the Korean “recipient” while leaving unblacked the name of the foreign “sender” indicates a desire to protect members of your own race while exposing others to harm. Worse, your exposure of the teacher’s name in such a public way–without making allowance for his possible innocence–can only, at best, be taken as bad journalistic practice.
But the astonishing, overriding irony at work here is that you at the Chosun Ilbo, together with the KFTRA and the unnamed woman in question, while all conspiring to make foreigners look bad, have only shown yourselves to be idiots and bad actors. So far from demonstrating that Koreans are victims of foreign misconduct, you unknowingly, unintentionally prove the exact opposite in this case.
I demand that you retract this article and issue a public apology to the English teacher in question.
A false accusation of this sort, however, is not simply a breach of good conduct; it is also a criminal matter. The Chosun Ilbo, together with the other guilty parties in this affair, stand to face criminal charges for slander. If the foreign teacher you have sought to harm does not himself prosecute, expect that others may, on his behalf.
UPDATE 2: Robert from the Marmots Hole received an email from the teacher in question.