Parents in South Korea have found an effective way to deal with school bullying via a new service that offers intimidating “uncles” for hire.
Providers of the so-called “Uncle Service” allows clients to rent uncles who will be tasked to protect children from school bullying in a number of ways.
Currently a growing business in the country, the “Uncle Service” is offered in 3 different packages: The “Uncle Package,” the “Evidence Package,” and the “Chaperone Package,” reports Nate.com
In the “Uncle Package,” a bulky, intimidating man in their 30s or 40s will pretend to be the student’s uncle and accompany the student to and from school at the rate of 500,000 Korean won ($443) per day. He is also tasked to issue a stern warning to the bullies.
In the “Evidence Package,” the uncle does some investigative work and retrieves evidence of bullying by filming with cameras. The collected evidence is then brought to the school administration’s attention, along with a message stating: “I’ll submit an official complaint to the school board if you guys do not properly investigate the case. We want a clear resolution.” This option is offered at 400,000 Korean won ($354).
In the “Chaperone Package,” the hired “uncle” goes to the workplaces of the bully’s parents and conducts a protest. The uncle then shouts “A parent of a bully works here!” repeatedly in front of their office buildings. This option is provided for 2 million Korean won ($1,772) which includes a total of four visits.
While the “Uncle Service” has earned some support from the public, there are those who have expressed concerns about it.
“Private sanction is just another form of violence. School violence needs to be resolved by improving the system,” professor Kim Yoon Tae of Korea University was quoted as saying.
Hopefully, conversations surrounding the service brings more discussions on resolving bullying in general as it has been a persistent problem among teens in South Korea in recent years. Victims of bullying suffer not only physically, but psychologically and emotionally as well, and in severe cases would lead to trauma or even suicide.