Seoul Metropolitan Council Disappointed with Court’s Decision on Student Rights Ordinance

SEOUL, South Korea - The Seoul Metropolitan Council has voiced its disappointment following a court ruling that temporarily halted its efforts to abolish a contentious student human rights ordinance. The ordinance, which has been a subject of debate, was introduced in 2010 and includes several provisions aimed at protecting student rights.

According to Yonhap News Agency, On Monday, the Seoul Administrative Court agreed to a civic group's request to suspend the implementation of the council's bill to revoke the student rights ordinance. This decision, effective until the court issues a formal judgment on the matter, arrived just before the council's scheduled vote on the bill this Friday.

The ordinance in question prohibits corporal punishment by teachers, discrimination against homosexual and pregnant students, and allows rallies on school grounds. It also grants students the freedom to choose their hairstyles and clothing. While it has been lauded for upholding student rights, critics argue that it hampers teachers' ability to effectively guide and discipline students.

The council, dominated by members of the conservative People Power Party, has been advocating for the abolition of the ordinance, citing concerns over the infringement of teachers' rights. They propose a new ordinance focused on strengthening students' responsibilities and safeguarding teachers' rights.

Liberal civic activists and the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, however, have suggested amending the ordinance to include more student accountability. These activists filed a lawsuit in April and requested the suspension of the council's bill on Dec. 11.

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