DAEGU, South Korea – The Daegu District Court ordered the arrest of the two boys who were accused of driving a 13-year-old classmate to jump out of his 7th floor apartment building have been arrested over the weekend.
The boys, identified only by their family names of Seo and Woo, appeared to be normal students, but created a national stir when the story broke of them bullying a classmate enough to commit suicide. They apparently beat and used water torture against the boy, as well as was forced to play an online role-playing game using the two friends’ IDs to advance their characters’ standing in the game, eat crumbs off the floor, do their homework and give them money.
According to the Joongang Ilbo, after they were arrested, the two students were seen coming out of the District Court sobbing uncontrollably, with hooded jackets covering their heads and their faces masked, en route to a detention center, and they did not respond to questions from the press.
The mother of the victim is also planning to bring a civil suit against the boy's parents and the school for negligence. Police also suspect there may have been more students involved.
This case has brought bullying into the national spotlight, as education authories around the country are scrambling to find solutions to the problem. Police will also use about 12,000 detectives to combat school violence, and the National Police Agency warned it would detain young suspects in serious criminal cases, signaling a change from its customary restraint in doing so.
One in 10 teenagers aged 15-19 thought about committing suicide at least once in the past year, according to 2011 government statistics. Other government data shows that 735 students in primary and secondary schools committed suicide between 2006 and 2010 according to the Korea Herald.