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  • Safrican
  • Waygookin

    • 18

    • October 16, 2012, 06:04:12 pm
    • Icheon
School fines $ students for speaking Korean
« on: May 12, 2017, 10:41:41 am »
I teach at an independent high school, If a student speaks Korean in the 'English Zone' they are fined 1000 won. This amount gets added to their parents monthly account.

Is this legal, even if the parents agree to it?

I'm looking for info on the hard and fast legality of this activity in an independent school and not so much on general opinion or whether its illegal in the public school system or other countries.

TIA


Re: School fines $ students for speaking Korean
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2017, 11:03:50 am »
Goo question. My thought is that it would be legal to do, but not legal to actually enforce should a parent want to refuse to pay fine, even with a signature. I think it would be pretty awesome. It would suck to have little hater Minsu as your kid though, and he just tries to get caught to fkc over his parents...


  • thunderlips
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1623

    • June 07, 2012, 10:01:55 am
    • South Korea
Re: School fines $ students for speaking Korean
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2017, 12:12:30 pm »
If it is illegal, you gonna drop a dime and collect a reward?

I mean why do you care? Did you get fined?  :laugh:


Re: School fines $ students for speaking Korean
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2017, 12:18:29 pm »
little hater Minsu as your kid though, and he just tries to get caught to fkc over his parents...

 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Minsu should blackmail his parents for that new phone he wanted or that awesome computer.


  • JNM
  • The Legend

    • 4145

    • January 19, 2015, 10:16:48 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: School fines $ students for speaking Korean
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2017, 01:29:43 pm »
I took a French immersion course at a college in Montreal one summer. I signed an agreement to only speak French.  3 strikes, and you were on a bus home.


  • solveit
  • Super Waygook

    • 369

    • December 09, 2014, 03:52:02 pm
    • Korea
Re: School fines $ students for speaking Korean
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2017, 10:06:40 pm »
I asked my employer about this - he said if a parent has signed a contract agreeing to financial penalties, then it's legal for the school to enforce them, but if no contract has been signed then the fines cannot be applied.


Re: School fines $ students for speaking Korean
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2017, 11:36:29 pm »
I asked my employer about this - he said if a parent has signed a contract agreeing to financial penalties, then it's legal for the school to enforce them, but if no contract has been signed then the fines cannot be applied.
On the other hand, your boss isn't a lawyer and the contract may, in fact, be illegal. Like, if my contract says that my vacation days include national holidays and weekends, it doesn't make it legal for them to actually go by that contract.


Re: School fines $ students for speaking Korean
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2017, 11:12:46 am »
If Blockbuster video and the library can fine you, the school can too.


  • thunderlips
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1623

    • June 07, 2012, 10:01:55 am
    • South Korea
Re: School fines $ students for speaking Korean
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2017, 08:31:29 pm »
I asked my employer about this - he said if a parent has signed a contract agreeing to financial penalties, then it's legal for the school to enforce them, but if no contract has been signed then the fines cannot be applied.
On the other hand, your boss isn't a lawyer and the contract may, in fact, be illegal. Like, if my contract says that my vacation days include national holidays and weekends, it doesn't make it legal for them to actually go by that contract.

Wait what?!?


  • JNM
  • The Legend

    • 4145

    • January 19, 2015, 10:16:48 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: School fines $ students for speaking Korean
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2017, 09:06:46 pm »
I asked my employer about this - he said if a parent has signed a contract agreeing to financial penalties, then it's legal for the school to enforce them, but if no contract has been signed then the fines cannot be applied.
On the other hand, your boss isn't a lawyer and the contract may, in fact, be illegal. Like, if my contract says that my vacation days include national holidays and weekends, it doesn't make it legal for them to actually go by that contract.

Wait what?!?
"if"


  • Safrican
  • Waygookin

    • 18

    • October 16, 2012, 06:04:12 pm
    • Icheon
Re: School fines $ students for speaking Korean
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2017, 09:22:00 am »
Thanks for the replies. My issue with this is that there is little transparency as to what happens to the money once its collected, and this cannot be the best way to motivate kids to speak English. Some teachers at the school are running rampant with these fines (Not suggesting they ever see a cent though).


Re: School fines $ students for speaking Korean
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2017, 08:19:28 pm »
I asked my employer about this - he said if a parent has signed a contract agreeing to financial penalties, then it's legal for the school to enforce them, but if no contract has been signed then the fines cannot be applied.
On the other hand, your boss isn't a lawyer and the contract may, in fact, be illegal. Like, if my contract says that my vacation days include national holidays and weekends, it doesn't make it legal for them to actually go by that contract.

Wait what?!?
There have been bosses that try to include that in the contract, making you use your day off as part of your vacation time...

And I said "if."


  • Teemowork
  • Expert Waygook

    • 623

    • September 13, 2010, 08:21:30 am
    • South Korea
Re: School fines $ students for speaking Korean
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2017, 10:36:03 am »
And I said "if."

I would figure that even "if" parents signed some paper, national law would still dictate whether something is a legally binding contract or not.  Not sure if signing a contract that limits someones ability to say certain words/sentences would be legal.  Wouldn't a contract that prevents someone from saying a set number of words or sentences be infringing on freedom of speech?  Especially when the words are not necessarily defamatory, leak company patent/licensing secrets, is physically threatening, would cause a public panic, etc?  It boils down to "you sign away your rights to say _______".  If the restriction is not really specific, but encompasses an entire language, sounds like limiting free speech to me.  Could you imagine America passing a law that allowed institutions to forbid citizens from speaking Spanish?  It just doesn't sound like anything any developed country would allow as "legal".

And also, some parent could sign a paper saying they are selling their children as slaves.  Even "if" they signed some paper like that, it doesn't mean the school suddenly gets free slaves.  Contracts have to be valid and legal regardless of signatures don't they?  Otherwise, there's just so much garbage people can put on paper.

So... would the type of contract in question here be considered infringing upon free speech?  That's the closest legal problem I can think of that would make this contract questionable.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 11:46:26 am by Teemowork »


  • Teemowork
  • Expert Waygook

    • 623

    • September 13, 2010, 08:21:30 am
    • South Korea
Re: School fines $ students for speaking Korean
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2017, 11:54:02 am »
I took a French immersion course at a college in Montreal one summer. I signed an agreement to only speak French.  3 strikes, and you were on a bus home.

Yeah, but in your situation, it would be removal from the language program, not being fined money.  It's really the issue of whether someone could link a specific action with monetary compensation/rewards/penalties.

If a kid breaks/damages public property, the parents could legally be responsible for the damage costs.  Same goes for private property.  You just can't be breaking other peoples stuff.

But, if a kid "speaks" in a language they weren't supposed to for the purpose of an immersion program, I'm not sure if you could attach a monetary penalty to it.  It's not really in the same category anymore.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 11:56:05 am by Teemowork »


  • JNM
  • The Legend

    • 4145

    • January 19, 2015, 10:16:48 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: School fines $ students for speaking Korean
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2017, 12:40:53 pm »

And also, some parent could sign a paper saying they are selling their children as slaves.  Even "if" they signed some paper like that, it doesn't mean the school suddenly gets free slaves.  Contracts have to be valid and legal regardless of signatures don't they?  Otherwise, there's just so much garbage people can put on paper.

So... would the type of contract in question here be considered infringing upon free speech?  That's the closest legal problem I can think of that would make this contract questionable.

I have signed many non-disclosure agreements over the years; they are effectively a contract that prevents me from talking about my customer or supplier's business.

The general concept of "free speech" does not prevent this.



  • Teemowork
  • Expert Waygook

    • 623

    • September 13, 2010, 08:21:30 am
    • South Korea
Re: School fines $ students for speaking Korean
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2017, 01:03:01 pm »
I have signed many non-disclosure agreements over the years; they are effectively a contract that prevents me from talking about my customer or supplier's business.

The general concept of "free speech" does not prevent this.

Yeah, I agree that this sounds pretty legal and fair because its very specific.  Non disclosure agreements help protect certain company or client information.  It is linked more closely to privacy of an individual or institution, internal patents and ideas, etc.

But the OP seems to be talking about a situation WITHOUT specifics.  This is an ENTIRE language.

I mean, we aren't talking about yelling fire in a crowded theater here.  Nor are we talking about slandering someone's reputation.  And we are definitely not talking about spreading someone's private information without their permission.  We are talking about basically signing away someone's rights to speak just about everything they want excluding those previous examples.  Isn't that too broad?  That's basically limiting someone's free speech isn't it?

Suppose you heard that Korea made a law that allowed private businesses to fine foreigners any time they spoke English.  Signs are posted everywhere in institutions/business that BAN English.  So, you see a Cafe Bene or something, right in the front door it shows that sign, then you go in.  Some worker heard you say "hello" to your American friend.  BAM, you get charged 10,000 won.  Does that even sound legal?  If the policy was something more like, you couldn't disclose private employee information without the consent of said employee, it makes total sense.  But, just an ENTIRE language, straight up? Nothing specific?  That sounds WAY too broad.


  • kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 5346

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: School fines $ students for speaking Korean
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2017, 01:12:32 pm »
I have signed many non-disclosure agreements over the years; they are effectively a contract that prevents me from talking about my customer or supplier's business.

The general concept of "free speech" does not prevent this.

Yeah, I agree that this sounds pretty legal and fair because its very specific.  Non disclosure agreements help protect certain company or client information.  It is linked more closely to privacy of an individual or institution, internal patents and ideas, etc.

But the OP seems to be talking about a situation WITHOUT specifics.  This is an ENTIRE language.

I mean, we aren't talking about yelling fire in a crowded theater here.  Nor are we talking about slandering someone's reputation.  And we are definitely not talking about spreading someone's private information without their permission.  We are talking about basically signing away someone's rights to speak just about everything they want excluding those previous examples.  Isn't that too broad?  That's basically limiting someone's free speech isn't it?

Suppose you heard that Korea made a law that allowed private businesses to fine foreigners any time they spoke English.  Signs are posted everywhere in institutions/business that BAN English.  So, you see a Cafe Bene or something, right in the front door it shows that sign, then you go in.  Some worker heard you say "hello" to your American friend.  BAM, you get charged 10,000 won.  Does that even sound legal?  If the policy was something more like, you couldn't disclose private employee information without the consent of said employee, it makes total sense.  But, just an ENTIRE language, straight up? Nothing specific?  That sounds WAY too broad.

Well, you can get into some serious flak if you shout in an ICU. That's pretty non-specific too: just an arbitrary decibel limit.

Or how about getting interrogated/fined for talking about explosive devices in an airport regardless of language? That's a pretty broad topic to be effectively banning.

I don't think being punished for speaking in a certain manner is nearly as rare as a lot of people think it is.

Also, keep in mind that even in the West, the concept of "free-speech" varies drastically from country to country. Korea is reasonably free, but libel and slander laws here are pretty broad. Also, there have been a lot of issues recently about the government censoring comments left on private websites.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 01:22:25 pm by kyndo »


  • JNM
  • The Legend

    • 4145

    • January 19, 2015, 10:16:48 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: School fines $ students for speaking Korean
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2017, 01:24:25 pm »
I have signed many non-disclosure agreements over the years; they are effectively a contract that prevents me from talking about my customer or supplier's business.

The general concept of "free speech" does not prevent this.

Yeah, I agree that this sounds pretty legal and fair because its very specific.  Non disclosure agreements help protect certain company or client information.  It is linked more closely to privacy of an individual or institution, internal patents and ideas, etc.

But the OP seems to be talking about a situation WITHOUT specifics.  This is an ENTIRE language.

I mean, we aren't talking about yelling fire in a crowded theater here.  Nor are we talking about slandering someone's reputation.  And we are definitely not talking about spreading someone's private information without their permission.  We are talking about basically signing away someone's rights to speak just about everything they want excluding those previous examples.  Isn't that too broad?  That's basically limiting someone's free speech isn't it?

Suppose you heard that Korea made a law that allowed private businesses to fine foreigners any time they spoke English.  Signs are posted everywhere in institutions/business that BAN English.  So, you see a Cafe Bene or something, right in the front door it shows that sign, then you go in.  Some worker heard you say "hello" to your American friend.  BAM, you get charged 10,000 won.  Does that even sound legal?  If the policy was something more like, you couldn't disclose private employee information without the consent of said employee, it makes total sense.  But, just an ENTIRE language, straight up? Nothing specific?  That sounds WAY too broad.

My point is that I agreed.

If the parents agreed, I know of no law preventing it. (I am not a lawyer)  It is a punishment no different than give a kid push-ups for not paying attention in Karate class.

If you are a member of a private club, you might be subject to "bar fines" - this isn't any different.



  • thunderlips
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1623

    • June 07, 2012, 10:01:55 am
    • South Korea
Re: School fines $ students for speaking Korean
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2017, 02:49:44 pm »
I asked my employer about this - he said if a parent has signed a contract agreeing to financial penalties, then it's legal for the school to enforce them, but if no contract has been signed then the fines cannot be applied.
On the other hand, your boss isn't a lawyer and the contract may, in fact, be illegal. Like, if my contract says that my vacation days include national holidays and weekends, it doesn't make it legal for them to actually go by that contract.

Wait what?!?
There have been bosses that try to include that in the contract, making you use your day off as part of your vacation time...

And I said "if."

Yeah I'm in a region where the head edu. office still dictates vacation days can be counted on weekends and if a holiday falls in during that time it is also counted.

Welp according to the website we are receiving  the maximum required days vacation here.
Quote
2.4.2. Holidays and leave
If a worker has worked all the contractual working days in a particular
week, he/she should be granted one paid holiday (weekly holiday) and if
a worker has worked 80% or more of the contractual working days in a
particular year, he/she should be granted 15 days of annual paid leave.
Annual leave accrues at the rate of one day per two years up to a
maximum of 25 days (annual paid leave).


You can download the Labor law pdf here:  http://www.moel.go.kr/english/poli/poliLaw_view.jsp?idx=295 

So even if technically weekends/holidays shouldn't be counted, we still receive the 25 working days maximum off (more if you renew).
« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 03:13:33 pm by thunderlips »


  • Teemowork
  • Expert Waygook

    • 623

    • September 13, 2010, 08:21:30 am
    • South Korea
Re: School fines $ students for speaking Korean
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2017, 08:12:49 pm »
My point is that I agreed.

If the parents agreed, I know of no law preventing it. (I am not a lawyer)  It is a punishment no different than give a kid push-ups for not paying attention in Karate class.

If you are a member of a private club, you might be subject to "bar fines" - this isn't any different.

Yeah, I get that for private institutions, you may have to agree to certain conditions.  Paying bar fines sounds more like a regular membership fee.  Nothing illegal about that.

However, what I'm saying is that even the bar itself couldn't make ANY rules they want IF it went against national law.  They are still bounded by national law at the end of the day.  For example, if the private club you gave an example of wanted to allow prostitution in their establishment.  They would still be doing something illegal IF the sovereign country that they are in says it is illegal.  Sure, the workers might have signed a contract agreeing with the establishment to provide sexual services for money, but the contract itself would still be illegal.  Just because they are under an umbrella of "private club" doesn't mean they get to break national law because that label provides some crazy loophole.  Because the fact is, that "umbrella" is still on the territory of said sovereign nation.

Labeling yourself as some "private club" doesn't mean you can break any national law you want with other members, while inside that club.  Otherwise, what's stopping anyone from creating "private" businesses just to ignore national law?  Want to have prostitution?  Sure, just make some "private club" and you can ignore national law.  Want to buy, sell, and do heroine? Sure! just make some "private institution", and you can ignore national law.  Want to own slaves?  Sure! Just make some "private" institution, and anything you do there can ignore national law...  Yeah...I'm pretty sure that's NOT the case.

So what I'm saying is, IF national law (of Korea) considers the expression of an ENTIRE language as part of their "free speech" clause, then it would make sense that the business would STILL be doing an illegal act by charging the parents, EVEN if the parents signed some random contract agreeing to it.  It's not about whether someone agrees or not, it's whether the sovereign government where that private institution ALLOWS the two parties to agree to do that.