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Australian English teacher blacklisted

May 28th, 2007 . by Matt

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UPDATE: Commenter macdonaldduck questioned the authenticity of the email (pictured below) in an as yet unpublished letter to the Choson Ilbo.

suspect email

Dear Editor,

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.

Yours sincerely,

Donald Webber
Seoul, Korea

UPDATE 2: Robert from the Marmots Hole received an email from the teacher in question.


11 Responses to “Australian English teacher blacklisted”

  1. comment number 1 by: GarlicBreath

    He sends a email to his ex… and this makes it to the chousun ilbo?? Why not print the whole email? Why not contact him, and get is side?

    Naturally Coreas most read newspaper the “new york times of Corea”, ties his behavior to all foreighers. It seems to me that coreans hate all non-coreans.

  2. comment number 2 by: kjeff

    GarlicBreath,

    Why not contact him, and get is side?

    Wow, her ex just told her that she “deserved” a long and painful death(preceded by years of waiting on deathrow), and you want her to get “his side” of the story…hmm…

    Naturally Coreas most read newspaper the “new york times of Corea”, ties his behavior to all foreighers. It seems to me that coreans hate all non-coreans.

    Missing the “ties”…
    Matt,

    I wonder what she “did” to him that was so bad?

    I guess she had it coming, huh?

  3. comment number 3 by: chase

    I don’t think anyone would deserve to get HIV. I really wonder what he meant by “she deserved”. Is he implying that she was a sexpot?

  4. comment number 4 by: Matt

    I guess she had it coming, huh?

    Ah, no, thats why I put “did” in inverted commas.

  5. comment number 5 by: Thormodr

    Any chance to demonize foreign English teachers here is eagerly seized upon by the Korean teachers union. It is simply that they want our jobs. Just like the sex scandal at the English village where it turns out it was a Korean and a naturalized Korean American that did it instead of “foreigners”.
    Pretty pathetic actually. The media is a joke in Korea. 🙁

  6. comment number 6 by: chase

    Some image&video to look at. I wonder how much of the English teachers are really like this. I hope they are not very high.
    http://wizard2.sbs.co.kr/vobos/wizard2/resource/template/contents/07_review_detail.jsp?vProgId=1000082&vVodId=V0000010101&vMenuId=1001376&rpage=4&cpage=25&vVodCnt1=00327&vVodCnt2=00&vUrl=/vobos/wizard2/resource/template/contents/07_review_list.jsp (long)
    http://blog.daum.net/jis1214/10305636
    http://netv.sbs.co.kr/skin/skin_naver.jsp?uccid=10000033581 (brief)

  7. comment number 7 by: macdonaldduck

    Matt,

    I’d encourage you, and all your readers, to take a closer look at the email. It wasn’t written by a native speaker of English! In fact, it reads distinctly like the work of a Korean student of the language.

    Cases in point: “Last year when I went to [article “the” omitted] Philippines I . . . without [article “a” omitted] condom. . . . I didn’t take [article “a” omitted] test either.”

    My purpose in indicating these errors is certainly not to nitpick. Rather, it is to suggest that the most likely author is the estranged girlfriend herself. She likely has the motive to wish to harm an ex; her faulty English gives her away as the true culprit.

    Will you indulge me and allow my full letter to the Chosun Ilbo to appear here?:

    Dear Editor,

    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.

    Yours sincerely,

    Donald Webber
    Seoul, Korea

  8. comment number 8 by: Matt

    macdonaldduck, I did not realise that the picture of the email could be enlarged. I will include the picture and your letter to the editor.


  9. […] An English teacher in Korea told an ex-girlfriend he might be HIV positive and told her to get an AIDS test in a five-line email which has since been published to the entire world and gotten him blacklisted. […]


  10. […] Looks like the AIDS threat English teacher has been arrested. The article discusses English teachers being arrested for using fake degrees, but does not specify why he has been arrested. Meanwhile, police have arrested an Australian English instructor who made headlines last month by telling his Korean ex-girlfriend he was infected with the AIDS virus when she broke up with him. […]


  11. […] Looks like the AIDS threat English teacher has been arrested. The article discusses English teachers being arrested for using fake degrees, but does not specify why he has been arrested. Meanwhile, police have arrested an Australian English instructor who made headlines last month by telling his Korean ex-girlfriend he was infected with the AIDS virus when she broke up with him. […]